Some brief thoughts on the chapter on World Mission from Total Church by Tim Chester and Steve Timmis.
The centrality of the gospel word and the gospel community apply not only on our doorstep, but to the ends of the earth. God summons us both to “declare his praises” and be “a people for his own possession” (1 Pet. 2.9).
A word for the nations
The gospel word is a word for the present about the future. Hope is integral to our message. Non-Christians campaign for justice and feed the hungry, often with greater energy than Christians. But only Christians can point people to the world to come. Only Christians can show them how eloquently and relevantly the Bible describes the world we all want! People may dismiss this as ‘pie in the sky when you die’, but this is the promise of the gospel. The very best we can do for others is turn their gaze toward eternity. This is what the gospel word and gospel communities do so uniquely (100).
A community for the nations
Psalms 67 reshapes Aaron’s prayer of blessing over the people of Israel in Numbers 6.22-27. The Psalms connect the worshipper and God. Psa. 67 makes a further connection: between the worshippers, God and the nations. The prayer assumes Israel’s distinctive identity in the world.
The psalmist knew the purpose of Israel’s election and understood the determination of Yahweh to fulfill the promise he made to Abraham. He would bless the descendants of Abraham so that through them he might bless the nations and so be recognized as the God of the whole earth (101).
Both local and global mission is the privilege and responsibility of any and every local church (102)