If you believe that a core identity of the Church is its “sent-ness” to the world, you will also believe learning to reach the world’s cities is a top priority for the leaders of the Church. The Church ignores the rapidly growing city to its detriment.
The evangelical church will not survive unless it aggressively pursues unchurched lost people outside its ‘four walls.’ It must adopt an ‘invasion’ or ‘penetration’ mentality. The days have long passed when the church could sit back and wait for lost people to come to it.
Aubrey Malphurs, Planting Growing Churches for the 21st Century (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1992), 117.
We affirm that Christ sends his redeemed people into the world as the Father sent him, and that this calls for a similar deep and costly penetration of the world. We need to break out of our ecclesiastical ghettos and permeate non-Christian society. In the Church’s mission of sacrificial service evangelism is primary. World evangelization requires the whole Church to take the whole gospel to the whole world…. The goal should be, by all available means and at the earliest possible time, that every person will have the opportunity to hear, understand, and to receive the good news.
The Lausanne Covenant
Mission is not primarily concerned with church growth. It is primarily concerned with the reign and rule of the Triune God.
It is scarcely possible to overemphasize the centrality of the fame of God in motivating the mission of the church.
John Piper, The Pleasures of God, Multnomah Publishers, p. 118.
There is some wonderful stuff in this message that fills out ‘sentness’ and why it’s important to the Christian life. Keller draws out the connection between sentness and joy among other things.
For those of you who connected with me at the Onward to Missional workshop at the EFCA Leadership Conference in San Diego last week, this would be a great follow-up message to listen to, especially if you’re still trying to wrap your head around what it means to live with a posture of ‘sentness.’