End Worship Service with a "Sending" - Missional Thought of the Day

Jesus said to his disciples, "As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you" (Jn. 20:21). Being sent is a part of who and what God does.

 

The more that the missional understanding is taking hold, the more this understanding causes us to rethink all of our daily lives and church life and practice. Mission was once relegated to a side ministry of the church. In academic circles, mission was relegated to "practical theology" or "ecclessiology." Now, however, church practitioners and theologians alike are beginning to see that since mission is a fundamental part of who God is and does, it belongs under theology proper.

 

This has huge implications for a lot of things, but the one that I want to point out today is the implications for worship. If God is a God of mission, if he is a sending and sent God, then our worship of him must be about his missional nature. It must be about him sending the Son and the Spirit and us into the world. It must be about how God acted redemptively through Christ, and how God continues to be active in mission today. 

 

In other words, we should not have this huge divide between worship and mission. They ought to naturally flow together. We aren't just singing cool songs with catchy tunes in worship. We are praising the God of mission.

 

Clayton J. Schmit, author of Sent and Gathered: A Worship Manual for the Missional Church, suggests

  • "During this house [of worship], they have been encouraged, inspired, and met by the activity of the Triune God, In this final moment of worship, the gathered become the sent. They are not dismissed, as if worship were adjourned. They are sent fort in the enactment of God's mission in the local community and the world (worship as action)." p. 155
  • "Let the final blessing or benediction focus on sending God's people out into the world in Christian discipleship." (p. 156)
  • "Let the texts of sending songs and hymns focus on God's active leadership of the church in ministry rather than the activities of the faithful. All of worship should reflect the theological imperative that faith and Christian service are always gifts of grace and never the achievements of ardent persons." (p. 158)

What ideas do you have about ending worship with a "sending"?

 

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