As a church, we don't believe that it is our right to create what we want our mission to be. Jesus is the head of the Church (Colossians 1:18), and He has given us a mission. It's our responsibility to know that mission and live it out, in the strength that He supplies.
The Mission of God
To make sense of the mission of the Church, we need to take a step back and consider the mission of God. To understand what the Church should be doing, we need to grasp what God is doing in the world, because His mission precedes the Church.
"It is not so much the case that God has a mission for his church in the world, as that God has a church for his mission in the world. Mission was not made for the church; the church was made for mission -- God's mission." Christopher Wright
So what is the mission of God? From Genesis to Revelation, we understand the mission of God to be the spread of His glory to the ends of the earth, as the waters cover the sea. As Paul writes in Ephesians 1: "9[God has] made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth." So the mission of God is to fill the earth -- actually, all things in heaven and on earth -- with His own glory (Habakkuk 2:14, 1 Corinthians 15:28).
The Church Brings God Glory by Making Disciples
God's aim is to fill the universe with His own glory, and He is currently carrying out that plan by putting His Church on display as the embodiment of His Son. Later in Ephesians, Paul says that the Church is Christ's Body, "the fullness of him who fills all in all" (Ephesians 1:22-23). Our part in that work is to make disciples of Jesus:
"18And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”" (Matthew 28:18-20)
A disciple is someone who is learning to apply the gospel to absolutely every area of life, and is helping others to do the same. Disciples bring God glory in all things because they are learning how to surrender their entire lives to Him, which shows that He is our greatest joy and treasure (Philippians 1:20-21). And disciples help other people to do the same, because one of the commands we're to obey is the command to make disciples. In this way, we all have the privilege of taking part in the cosmic mission of God to fill the earth with His own glory, by filling it with people who are learning how to glorify God in everything they do (1 Corinthians 10:31, Colossians 3:17).
To listen to Pastor Larry talk more about the mission of the church, click here.