Ever heard the term ‘mission drift?’
If you have, my definition of it may seem a bit vague but nevertheless…
Here’s how I’m going to define mission drift.
Mission drift is when you/someone loses their focus on their primary objective and becomes distracted by the things that can be attached to their primary objective.
I’ll be more specific.
I think there are far too many people/pastors/spokespersons within the Church today that are losing their focus on the Gospel and focusing on the things attached to the Gospel. If we try to make the story of God’s redemption through Jesus about anything other than that, it no longer is the clear and pure Gospel but rather our own agenda.
Let me be more specific. This is going to make some folks mad and that’s okay.
I fear that we are losing the strong, clear message of the good news of who Jesus is and what He has done on our behalf. I fear that we are trading the clarity and purity of this good news for muddier waters of social issues that are not the Gospel.
Now let me be clear. There are social issues that we as Christians need to be concerned about. There are social issues that we as Christians need to speak out about. So don’t hear me saying that we shouldn’t speak out on social justice issues. We should and must.
As the Church, we cannot get distracted from the clear proclamation of God’s Word. Whatever we do that takes away from the most basic function of the Church must be removed. Let’s talk about the Church for a minute and what our function is.
The Church is all those who are redeemed by faith in Jesus, who have placed their faith in Him and Him alone for salvation and their children. Now I know that draws a bright line for some of you and I meant it to. I believe that God’s people have always included those who believe and their children. The Old Testament is very clear on this and so is the New Testament. Ask Peter and Abraham and Moses and Amos and David and all those dudes.
God’s covenant promises to His people have always included their children and still do. Some of you will disagree with me and that’s okay. We can have a difference of opinion here without being divisive.
So the Church is all those who are part of the invisible and visible covenant people of God.
Now, what is the function of the Church?
In its most basic form, the function of the Church is the proclamation of the good news of Jesus. It is our role to proclaim the truth of God’s Word clearly so that all may repent and believe in the One who has taken on our sin and in whom, by faith, we are saved.
Preach Christ and Him crucified. The rest will take care of itself.
Let’s be careful that we don’t try to be so socially relevant that we lose our witness to the watching world. Again, I’m not saying don’t speak out for equality, life and all the other social issues. Yes, stand for justice.
But let’s be clear. Our society will not be transformed until Jesus returns. That fact is abundantly clear when we read the Bible. We will not, despite all our efforts, transform our city or the culture or anything else. Nor should we try in my opinion. Rather, what we should be about is the proclamation of the truth of God’s Word and the message of reconciliation to God through Jesus. Us being reconciled to God reconciles us to one another. Let the Gospel do its work. We’re far too busy being strident about social change when we should be preaching the truth in love.
Only the Gospel can change the world.
Only God the Spirit changes hearts through the work of God the Son by the sovereign hand of God the Father.
Preach Christ and Him crucified for the salvation of all who believe and to the glory of God!
Soli Deo Gloria!