Our Vision of Mission
The Mission exists to raise, release and support leaders and communities of faith to reach the lost for Jesus Christ in North America. Rooted in the Celtic missionary tradition and nourished by the three streams of Scripture, the Sacramental Life and the Holy Spirit, The Mission has catalyzed over 200 church plants since its establishment in 2000. Through a culture of creativity, flexibility, boldness, learning and leadership, The Mission is committed and poised to build on its rich history. We invite you to join this movement of rising, loving and leading with Christ in North America.
Our Heritage of Mission
God is on mission. Fundamental to the Christian faith is the truth that God is a sending God. The biblical writer John records: “This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him” (1 John 4:9). Furthermore, God not only acts on mission, He is mission. “God is Love” (1 John 4:16b).
Still the Christian narrative of mission does not only involve God. According to Scripture, the followers of God are commissioned to join Him in essence and purpose … on mission:
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” — Matthew 28:18-20
Perhaps this truth is best summarized by the missiological writings of David Bosch and Lesslie Newbigin:
“Our mission has not life of its own: only in the hands of the sending God can it truly be called mission…. to participate in mission is to participate in the movement of God’s love toward people, since God is a fountain of sending love.”
— David Bosch, Transforming Mission
“‘There is no participation in Christ without participation in His mission to the world’… mission belongs to the very being of the church…. a church that is not ‘the church in mission’ is no church at all.”
— Lesslie Newbigin, The Open Secret
It is upon this clear essence and call that The Mission is built.
Our Way of Mission
Ireland was one of the only early-Christian cultures in Western Europe that was never controlled by the Roman Empire. Moreover, as scholar Thomas Cahill argues in How the Irish Saved Civilization, it was Patrick’s conversion of Ireland that made possible the preservation of Western thought through the early Dark Ages. The key and centerpiece of this work was the establishment of the Irish monasteries as ‘mission staging platforms’ that were founded by Patrick and his successors.
When Patrick undertook to carry the gospel message to Ireland, he developed a specific strategy or ‘model.’ Because his missionary approach made no attempt to ‘Romanize’ those who were converted, Patrick essentially founded a new kind of Church – one that was both Catholic and primitive. Patrick’s approach was to travel throughout the country preaching, teaching, and converting the Irish pagans to Christianity, tribe by tribe. As these tribes came to faith, he would establish churches, schools, and monasteries at each site.
These early Irish monasteries founded by Patrick and his successors served as much more than merely ecclesiastical sites. They became centers of population, culture, learning, trade, and the arts, as well as the Christian faith. As Bishop John Finney writes in Recovering the Past, “The monastery became not only a center for prayer and learning, but the heart of the organization of the church, and extraordinarily evangelistic.” And it was through these monasteries that Irish influence on Britain and Europe was exerted from the 6th century onwards.
Rooted in the creative and flexible boldness of historical Celtic evangelism, The Mission seeks to play its part in bringing personal, social and Cultural transformation to North America.
Our People of Mission
By definition, a missionary society is a religious organization dedicated to the support of Christian mission, such as evangelism, education, economic development and church planting. This model has biblical origins that can be traced back to Acts Chapter 13, when Paul and Barnabas were identified by the Holy Spirit and sent out by the church in Antioch on what would become Paul’s first missionary journey. As described earlier, Patrick and his successors further embodied this missional approach to Ireland, and it has continued throughout the history of the Church.
Organized in this manner, The Mission stands in the great tradition of furthering the mission of the Church as a society of mission and apostolic works. With a single-minded focus, The Mission is “stripped down for mission, and not wearing Saul’s armor!” (Bishop John Rogers). Guided and held in trust by wise and faithful Christian leaders, including the guardianship and oversight by the founding Anglican Archbishops through a leadership body known as the ‘College of Consultors,’ The Mission is characterized by lean structures and a bent towards action in evangelism and apostolic works, primarily through the work of church planting. As a people, mission is what we do, and society is how we organize.
Furthermore, rooted in the Anglican tradition, an ancient-future faith that dates back to the first century church and developed in the English Reformation, The Mission is distinctly nourished by three streams:
THE SCRIPTURE – We hold that Scripture guides our lives and is authoritative for us individually and for the Church at large (known as the evangelical tradition).
THE SACRAMENTAL – We believe the Sacramental life is embodied in the practices and teachings Christians have held throughout the centuries as expressed in the historic Creeds and 39 Articles of Religion. Our faith tradition has a variety of worship expressions, including the sacraments instituted by Jesus (known as the catholic tradition).
THE SPIRIT – We trust God’s Spirit is at work in the Church and the world, manifesting His power and preparing us for ministry through the deposit of his gifts (known as the charismatic tradition).
As a three stream people of mission, with hard feet and soft hearts, we invite you to join us in bringing God’s Kingdom to North America.