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Regarding a ’Wholistic’ Mission/Gospel
Earlier this month, I had the opportunity once again to present and participate in the IWMC (International Wholistic Mission Conference) in Phoenix, Arizona. As you can gather by the title of this conference, the organizers are keen on bringing people together around this idea of a mission (and Gospel) that is ‘whole’; a conviction that the Gospel God calls us to share is in fact ‘Good News’ for every person, every aspect of humanity and all of creation.
When we understand that God’s reconciliatory and redemptive purposes through Christ and His Kingdom encompass a mission that is wholistic (or ‘holistic’), we can also begin to understand that we can be a part of His mission in many ways. As it was with Jesus and His mission while He was here on earth, we need to proclaim this Good News, demonstrate this Good News and like Jesus did in being here on earth in the flesh, incarnate this Good News with our very presence.
I’ve seen wholistic mission in a neighborhood park clean-up effort where members of a Home Church join in; in directing the parent volunteer corp for a son’s/daughter’s musical; and in joining with a partner church in Kosovo as they provide food to hungry families (who happen to be M*sl*m) and provide a safe environment for the youth in those families away from the dangers of crime and prostitution. But as potentially good as each of these examples are of mission, for the Jesus’ follower, wholistic mission doesn’t end with these demonstrations of the Gospel. Mission becomes ‘whole’ when we (1) create relationships with those we come “in contact with” (literally ‘incarnate’) while (2) demonstrating the Good News, which gives the opportunity to (3) proclaim the Good News. So where was the Gospel (Wholistic) shared in these examples….when the park was cleaned up, when the safe environment was created, or when it was told to the parent volunteer how Jesus’ example motivates everything I do? Answer – it’s ALL ‘Good News’ and all a part of a mission that is ‘wholly’ (as well as holy) God’s. Sharing the Wholistic Gospel takes presence, action and words, and participating in Wholistic Mission takes effect in the souls of a people, in the conditions of the community they live in, and in the environment they inhabit. Be on mission…wholly on mission…with the God of mission (Missio Dei)…He can do no less and neither should we.
– Randy Schmor