It is possible to make the institution the end. But if it is dangerous to make souls of men our end, it is doubly dangerous to make an institution.

Source: Roland Allen, Essential Missionary Principles, p. 90-91. Allen’s warning is simple and clear. The end is Christ. Not soul winning. Not even the institution you serve. It’s Christ plus nothing. Christ plus something, even if it’s a good thing, is idolatry. If something other than Christ becomes the end for which we seek, rest assured, the missionary impulse of the individual or the institution will die or has already died. We lament not being missional enough and lament fossilized institutions. Instead, we should lament the fact that we’ve made the first and most important thing secondary or tertiary. That’s the only way to recover the missionary impulse. Live sent!

If the first contact with Christ is the reception of a missionary Spirit, the final hope set before us is dependent upon the expression and fulfillment of the work of that same Spirit. Hence Christianity is essentially a missionary religion. Its beginning is missionary; its end is missionary. What hope can he have who calls himself a Christian and is not missionary in heart and mind!

Roland Allen, Essential Missionary Principles, p.99.