[This post is part of the A.P.E. Theology series. Read the rest of the posts here!]
When considering the theological and biblical underpinnings of the missional conversation I find the two most helpful topics to address include the concept of missio Dei, or mission of God, and the language of “sending” found throughout Scripture.
The chief element to grasp about the missio Dei is that the mission is God’s. We are not called to bring our mission into a local context; instead we are called to partner with God in His mission. We often wrongly assume that the primary activity of God is in the church, rather than recognizing that God’s primary activity is in the world, and the church is God’s instrument sent into the world to participate in His redemptive mission.
This leads to the second important topic, which is the theme of “sending” in Scripture. The reason it is important to recognize such language in Scripture is not only because it speaks to the missionary nature of the Triune God, but it also connects – particularly in the New Testament – God’s mission to ours. This is never truer than in the Gospel of John.