The marks of mission are five statements of purpose that were developed by the Anglican Consultative Council to help guide the mission of the church. These marks are meant to be a blueprint for how the church can engage in mission in the local community. In this post, we'll explore the five marks of mission and how they can be applied in the local church setting.
To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom.
The first mark of mission is to proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom. This means sharing the message of salvation and the love of God with those who do not know him. The local church can do this through preaching, teaching, and evangelism programs.
One example of how a church can proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom is through regular preaching and teaching during Sunday services. The pastor or priest can deliver sermons that clearly communicate the message of salvation and the love of God, and provide biblical teaching that helps congregants understand and apply the message to their own lives.
Another example is through evangelism programs, such as door-to-door evangelism, street evangelism, or evangelistic events like gospel concerts or crusades. These events provide opportunities for the church to share the message of the Gospel with people who may not have heard it before or may not have a regular church home.
Additionally, the church can also use social media and online platforms to share the Good News. This can be done through creating and sharing Christian content such as videos, articles, and podcasts that communicate the message of salvation and the love of God.
Finally, the church can also be involved in community events such as fairs or festivals, where they can have a booth or a tent to share the Good News with those who visit.
To teach, baptize and nurture new believers.
The second mark of mission is to teach, baptize and nurture new believers. This means helping new believers grow in their faith through teaching, mentoring, and small group studies. The local church can do this through Sunday school classes, Bible studies, and other discipleship programs.
One example of how a church can teach, baptize, and nurture new believers is through a comprehensive new member's class or new believer's class. This class can be taught by the pastor or a trained lay leader and cover topics such as the basics of the Christian faith, the history and doctrine of the church, and what it means to be a member of the church.
Another example is through mentoring or small group studies. After new believers are baptized, they can be paired with a mature Christian who can serve as a mentor and guide, helping the new believer grow in their faith. Small group studies can also be a great way to teach new believers and provide them with a supportive community of other believers.
Additionally, the church can also provide regular Bible studies and Sunday school classes that are geared towards new believers, which can help them learn more about the Bible and deepen their understanding of their faith.
The church can also provide baptism ceremony for new believers. This ceremony is a public declaration of the individual's faith and commitment to Jesus Christ, and it's a powerful way for the new believer to take an important step in their spiritual journey.
Finally, the church can also provide a follow-up program for new believers. This program can include regular check-ins, phone calls, or visits to ensure that the new believer is doing well, and to provide any additional support they may need.
To respond to human need by loving service.
The third mark of mission is to respond to human need by loving service. This means serving those in the community who are in need through acts of kindness and compassion. The local church can do this through outreach programs, volunteering, and mission trips.
One example of how a church can respond to human need by loving service is through a community outreach program. This program can be tailored to the specific needs of the community, such as providing meals for the homeless, visiting the sick and elderly, or providing clothing and other necessities to those in need. This type of service can be done by church members or in partnership with other organizations.
Another example is through volunteering at a local soup kitchen, homeless shelter, or other service organization. This type of service allows the church to make a direct impact on the lives of those in need in the community and provide practical help and support.
Additionally, the church can also organize mission trips to provide humanitarian aid to communities in need, both domestically and internationally. These trips can provide an opportunity for church members to serve others and to witness the love of God in action.
The church can also support organizations that work to alleviate poverty, hunger, and other issues that affect many people in the community. This can be done through financial support or through volunteering time and resources to these organizations.
Finally, the church can also provide counseling and support groups for those who are struggling with mental health issues, addiction, or other problems. This type of service can be provided by trained lay leaders or professional counselors, and it can make a significant difference in the lives of those who are hurting and in need.
To seek to transform unjust structures of society.
The fourth mark of mission is to seek to transform unjust structures of society. This means working to bring about change in areas of society where there is inequality and injustice. The local church can do this through advocacy, community development, and social justice initiatives.
One example of how a church can seek to transform unjust structures of society is through advocacy and lobbying for policies that promote social justice and equality. This can include issues such as poverty reduction, affordable housing, criminal justice reform, and immigration reform. The church can advocate for these issues through letter-writing campaigns, petitions, and meeting with elected officials.
Another example is through community development initiatives. The church can work to address issues such as poverty, unemployment, and lack of access to education and healthcare by supporting and empowering local communities to take action and make positive changes. This can include initiatives such as job training programs, microfinance, and education scholarships.
Additionally, the church can also provide resources and support for marginalized groups. This can include providing legal aid, language classes, and support groups for these groups.
The church can also advocate for environmental protection, promoting sustainable living practices and encouraging their members to take actions that support a healthy environment.
Finally, the church can also partner with other organizations that are working towards social justice and equality, such as non-profits, advocacy groups, and community organizations. This allows the church to leverage the resources and expertise of these organizations to make a greater impact in the community.
To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth.
The fifth mark of mission is to strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth. This means working to protect and preserve the environment, and to promote sustainable living practices. The local church can do this through recycling programs, environmental stewardship initiatives, and promoting sustainable living practices.
One example of how a church can strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth is through implementing environmentally friendly practices in the church. This can include things such as recycling, composting, using energy-efficient lighting, and promoting the use of public transportation or carpooling to events. The church can also encourage their members to adopt eco-friendly practices in their own lives.
Another example is through hosting educational events, such as seminars, workshops, or film screenings, that raise awareness about environmental issues and the importance of taking care of the earth. These events can be used to educate church members and the community about environmental stewardship and inspire them to take action.
Additionally, the church can also organize clean-up events, such as beach cleanups, river cleanups, or park cleanups, which can help to protect the environment and promote a sense of stewardship.
The church can also incorporate teachings about environmental stewardship and the importance of preserving creation in their sermons, Bible studies, and other educational programs.
Finally, the church can also support organizations that work to protect the environment and promote sustainable living practices, such as conservation groups, environmental advocacy organizations, and community gardening initiatives.
By implementing these five marks of mission in the local church setting, we can effectively engage in mission and make a positive impact in our community. It is important to remember that these marks are not meant to be taken in isolation, but rather as a holistic approach to mission. Therefore, the local church should strive to integrate these marks into all aspects of its mission and ministry.