I have been asked that question many times by various people and even groups of people over the past months since Missio Nexus has emerged from the merger of two previous long-standing mission associations. For me, the answer to that question is not hard to come by. Unquestionably the highest stated priority of this mission network is World Evangelization. Whatever programs, products and services Missio Nexus engages in, all must be measured against this top priority. There is no nobler goal to which a mission network like ours is called; there is no clearer vision that we must have. Although a variety of other synonyms and even catchy mottos can be found stating what the mission of the Church is, I believe that “world evangelization” states it best.
That being said, it is not always clear what is meant by that phrase. Different people define it in different ways. Some see world evangelization as solely a spiritual endeavor. Others prefer to add a strong social obligation to the mandate. That debate is on-going, forever being polished, and likely never ending.
The five Great Commission passages (Matt. 28:18-20, Mark 16:15-18, Luke 24:46-48, John 20:21, Acts 1:8) allude to what is meant without directly defining it. Woven together, I believe that these passages describe world evangelization as the process of communicating the gospel of Jesus Christ in cultural sensitive ways, so that all peoples everywhere might have the opportunity to repent of their sins and place their faith in the redemptive work of Christ for the salvation of their souls; committing themselves as life-long disciples of Him.
When it comes to world evangelization, let’s be realistic as to what our final goal is. Missionary statesman Dick Hillis stated a generation ago, “It is not our responsibility to bring the world to Christ; but it is our responsibility to take Christ to the world.” Each and every member of Missio Nexus should make taking Christ to the world its highest priority, no matter what specific “nitch” of this mission God has entrusted to them. The means employed are many, the methods employed are diverse, the missionaries employed vary in gifting, training, and skills, and the money expended is enormous. But the overarching goal – world evangelization – should be one and the same.
Henry Crocker has portrayed this goal well in his inspirational poem, “Evangelize!”
Give us a watchword for the hour,
A thrilling word, a word of power,
A battle-cry, a flaming breath,
That calls to conquest or to death;
A word to rouse the church from rest,
To heed her Master’s high behest,
The call is give: ye hosts arise,
Our watchword is Evangelize!
The glad evangel now proclaim,
Through all the earth in Jesus’ name;
This word is ringing through the skies,
To dying men, a fallen race,
Make known the gift of gospel grace;
The world that now in darkness lies,
It should be our passion to reach people everywhere with the gospel of Jesus Christ. That, to me, is the root reason why Missio Nexus exists.