The Church as Mission

I. "A liturgist in the sanctuary": Worship as the Chief End of God
Perichoresis (mutual indwelling and containment) describes, in analogous ways, the Triune persons' relationships, God's relationships with creation, and God's goal for creation (John 17:21).
Worship is the inner and outer life of God (Rev 4-5).
Augustine: The cosmos is a hierarchy of loves; all creation would worship (Ps 19:1).

Sin, or concupiscence, is "wrongly directed love" (idolatry: Col 3:5, 1 John 5:21).
Israel is God's worshiping people and the humanity's worship leader (Deut 6; Amos 5:21-24; Matt 5:14-16, 6:1-18).
The worker of worship (leiturgeos, Heb 8:2) is the Triune God (9:1, 9:11-14):
Jesus is the ultimate subject and object of worship (Heb 5:7-10, 7:26-28).
II. "In him you too are being built together": Worship's Mission
So healthy worship is a hope, goal, and instrument of God's mission.

Worship is God-directed, Christ-shaped, Spirit-driven (Acts 2) ...
... drawing into the communion between Son and Father in the Spirit (John 17).
... drawing into the communion of Christ and his body (1 Cor 12).
... drawing into the communion of saints (Rom 12).
... commissioning agents of the Kingdom's growing communion (Matt 28).
James B. Torrance's three models of worship/mission (two of them defective) from Worship, Community, and the Triune God of Grace:
Torrance's Label Torrance's Description Exemplars Christology Strength or Weakness
unitarian moves "up" from individuals to God Harnack, Hick Jesus is an example of how to worship ebionite?
existential moves "down" in an encounter provoking our response Bultmann, early Barth Jesus is the revelation that confronts us docetic?
Trinitarian shares in the Son's fellowships through the Spirit Torrance Jesus is the high priest who includes us in his own divine fellowship incarnational
III. "Whom shall I send?" Missional Apostleship
Apostoloi include
Jesus (Heb 3:1),
the Twelve (Matt 10:2),
Paul and Barnabas (Acts 14:14),
and others (Rom 16:7, Phil 2:25, 2 Cor 8:23).
'Apostle' (one who is sent) means
missionary of the Good News (Matt 10:2),
emissary of the Kingdom of God, a new, holy, public order (Matt 10:7-8),
witness to the resurrection (Acts 1:26),
head of Israel (Rev 21:14), and
foundation of the Church (Eph 2:20).
So apostolicity names the later Church's fidelity to its irreplaceable foundations:
Apostolicity describes the Church's center and its expanding boundaries.
Apostolicity discerns deep continuity with the original witnesses and the eschatological frontier.
Rival visions of apostolicity among ecclesiology's "open lanes":
Newbigin's Category (adapted) My Description of the Type in Terms of Apostolicity Israelite Precedent? New Testament Exemplar Liturgical Focus
Protestant the Church's practice of Scripture brings the apostolic gospel to the world prophets, rabbis Acts 1:8 preaching, faithful response
ethical / baptist the community life of commissioned disciples is the primary witness to Christ's reign in the world saints, sages Acts 2:46-47, 4:32-35 universal participation, organic fellowship
Catholic / Orthodox sacraments incorporate the world into the Church of the apostles' successors monarchs, priests Acts 8:17 hierarchical liturgy, visible unity
charismatic the Spirit sanctifies and anoints apostles to revive churches and liberate the world patriarchs, judges Acts 10:44-48 powerful liturgy, personal transformation
Self-Test
IV. "I send you out as sheep among wolves": Political-Eschatological Locations
Christ reigns "far above all rule and authority, power and dominion" (Eph 1:21). How?
Being sent into the world commits the Church to new works of the Spirit.
Apostolicity shifts as Scripture is canonized and creeds are developed.
Apostolicity recontextualizes as the Gospel moves beyond the Roman world.
No particular model (episcopal, presbyterian, congregational, etc.) seems normative for Church organization.
My Label My Description Prooftext Ecclesial Priorities Eschatology
assimilationist the world absorbs the Christian community Rev 3:1-6 other narratives, gospels, missions, ends, and agents futurist
Constantinian civil authorities legislate the millennial reign of Christ Isa 60:10-12 civil sponsorship, rulership, activism, transformation postmillennial
spiritualist Holy Spirit calls individuals out of a godforsaken world Rev 18:4-8 conversion, piety, personal difference, social renunciation and withdrawal premillennial
developmental new works of the Spirit change the Church as it interacts with the world Acts 15 receptivity to development and variety (e.g., Romanization, canonization, creedalization, Germanization, globalization) inaugurated
primitivist the missionary community's shape is indifferent to its surroundings Heb 13:8 continuity with the past rather than responsivity to cultural context realized
proleptic the Church is what it is becoming Eph 4:11-16 vision, continuity with the future, faithfulness, repentance in the face of failure dialectical
V. "Carry my name before the nations and kings and children of Israel": Strategies for Mission

Modernity and postmodernity are pressuring churches to adopt various strategies (Rodney Clapp):

My Label and Unabashed Opinion Political Strategy Clapp's Label (or Mine), and Affinity
Neo-constantinianism seek vestiges of usefulness to society "recapitulation" (close to assimilation)
Paleo-constantinianism try to reclaim lost civil power and authority "retrenchment" (basically Constantinian)
Hypo-constantinianism withdraw into private spiritualism "relinquishment" (spiritualist)
Anti-constantinianism concentrate on fighting the alliance (reactionism) (close to primitivism)
A-constantinianism pursue the original politics of being Christ's Way "radicalization" (proleptic?)

Self-Test