Scot McKnight on the Language of Mission

Today I wish to direct your attention to a post by Scot McKnight on the language of mission.  In this post McKnight reviews a book by Michael Stroope which analyzes the history of how the word “mission” and other related terms, such as “missionary”, came to be used within the context of Christianity.  Stroope’s big ideas are to figure out why the Bible says so little about “mission”, to examine where the concept of “mission” came from, and to contend that we should replace “mission” language with “kingdom” language.  Stroope contends that the term “mission” came about via pilgrimage traditions but morphed over the course of history into colonialism, imperialism, and territorial concepts.  Because the language of “mission” is imported into the Christian tradition, it is in continual need of defending and propping up, and if it rises to the level of sacred language it can obscure kingdom priorities.  Instead of using the language of “mission” and thinking of ourselves as “missionaries”, we should think of ourselves as pilgrims and witnesses to the coming kingdom as we seek to follow Christ.  The Church is a community of such pilgrims and witnesses who surrender personal agendas and desires in order to live in community with each other, thereby providing a poignant counterwitness to the pervasive individualism of modern life.

Read:  Why Do Christians Speak of “Mission”? by Scot McKnight