The Sending Trinity
The Father sent the Son into the world and the Father and Son, together sent the Spirit.
The phrase missio Dei is really popular in mission work these days, but originally, the term was applied only to the sending that is an inherent part of the life of the Trinity, not to the mission work of the Church.
It would be easy to think of this as nothing more than an obscure point of theology, but the fact that God is a sending and sent God is absolutely key when it comes to thinking about Christian mission. Let me highlight two reasons, very briefly.
God has been there. It is an axiom of leadership that you should never tell someone to do something that you would not do yourself. When God sends us on mission, we know that we are following in his footsteps.
God Knows What It’s Like: If the world rejects our message, it’s only because they rejected it from him in the first place and if we are called to suffer, we know that he suffered even more.
However, the great news is God is building his church and when we follow him in mission we are already guaranteed to be on the winning side. It may be uncomfortable at times (and at others it’s wonderful) but the end result is promised.
As the Father sent me, so I send you. (Jn. 20:21).
There are no ifs or buts here; Jesus sends his followers, all of them. Some of us are sent to Tescos and others are sent to Timbuctu, but we are all sent. The commands to witness to Jesus and make disciples are the same in every location. We are all sent; the rest is just geography.