Our mission is to begin a Christ-centered, missional church planting movement in the Lake St. Louis area that will eventually impact the entire city of St. Louis. Our church will be a radical, life changing group of people, who love Jesus, love culture, love lost people, and passionately pursue all three. We believe that a church in pursuit of these things will grow exponentially. Consequently, we will strategically spread throughout the city by sending teams out to plant similar churches on a regular basis in St. Louis and the entire world.

Our strategy is to begin with a core team who will invest several months praying, dreaming and developing our mission, values, vision and strategy together.  As we dream, we will also reach out to our community through service and active lifestyle evangelism. It is imperative that we build this church by actually being who we aspire. We must grow by reaching the lost and discipling new Christians into maturity and leadership — and, that leadership part is very important. Once we have established a church with a vibrant and active presence in our community, we will launch other churches through out St. Louis and beyond. Together with the EFCA, we will recruit, train, mentor, and send out church planting teams on a regular basis. Strategically saturating and influencing the very culture of this great city.

 

••• what is in the name

Missio Dei is a theological term used to describe the missionary attribute of God. Theologians will tell us that God, is in fact, a missionary. Missio Dei is latin, and literally means the “sending of God.”

The Old Testament is replete with stories and examples of God sending Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, and of course, Israel. We see this also in the dynamic relationship within the Trinity. God the Father sends the Son. And Jesus tell us in John 20, “As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” Jesus then sends the Holy Spirit to give the Church power and wisdom as she is sent (Acts 1:8). The Father sends the Son, the Son sends the Spirit, and we have an unimaginable privilege to be sent with the very missionary attribute of God.

It is not the church that has a mission of salvation to fulfill in the world; it is the mission of the Son and the Spirit through the Father that includes the church.

There is no participation in Christ without participation in His mission to the world.

Mission and missions is not something the church does, it is who God is. The church exists because of mission, not the other way around. The chief end of Man is to glorify God. However, the church can not glorify God if she is not participating in his mission. George Peters in his book, A Biblical Theology of Missions, explains that Scripture teaches us that “the end result of such missio Dei is the glorification of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.”

To be authentic, mission must be thoroughly theocentric. It begins in God’s redemptive purpose and will be completed when that purpose is fulfilled. The God-given identity of the church thus arises from its mission. This order of priority is foundational. Yet for sixteen centuries Christians have been taught to think of church as the prior category and mission as one among several functions of the church… The answer to ecclesio-centrisim is to be found in the biblical theological order of priorities.

So, we believe that the church does not do mission, she is mission. However, “we don’t own mission, and it is not ours to define.” We must realize that “church is not the center of God’s plan. But, the church is central to God’s plan.”

Choosing MISSIODEI for the name of our church planting movement is extremely intentional. MISSIODEI is so much more than a new or different sounding name for a new and different kind of church. MISSIODEI is the very mission and purpose of our church. Because we bear this name, it will never be forgotten that we exist, and have been chosen and commissioned, to be on mission for our missionary God. For more material on the missio dei check out topics: missiology.

In a sense, we might think of God the Father as the Sender, and both God the Son and God the Spirit as the divine missionaries. In Ireneaus’ well-worn terms, both are the ministering hands of God to bring mankind to salvation and into the family of God. In this sense, then, the Holy Trinity is the archetype of the local church and mission. As the Triune God came to a lost world in both the Son and the Holy Spirit, so this same God has structured the local body of Christians in such a way that in order to be fulfilled  it too must collectively give of itself.

endnotes

10 Jurgen Moltmann, The Church in the Power of the Spirit: A Contribution to Messianic Ecclesiology. (London: SCM Press, 1977), 64.

11 James A Scherer, “Mission Theology”, in Philips and Coote, Toward the Twenty-first Century, 193-202.

12 Wilbert Shenk. Changing Frontiers of Missions. (New York: Orbis Books, 1999), 7.

13 Ed Stetzer and Thom S. Rainer. Transformational Church. (B&H Publishing, 2010), 69.

14 Scott Horrell. (Pasadena: William Carey Publishing, 1999), 73.