"Mission is understood as being derived from the very nature of God. The classical doctrine of the Missio Dei as God the Father sending the Son, and God the Father and the Son sending the Spirit is expanded to include yet another “movement”: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit sending the church into the world." David Bosch in Transforming Mission
As we have used the tools of biblical scholarship carefully, we have begun to learn that the biblical message is more radical, more inclusive, more transforming than we have allowed it to be. In particular, we have begun to see that the church of Jesus Christ is not the purpose or goal of the gospel, but rather its instrument and witness. God’s mission embraces all of creation. “God so love the world” is the emphasis of the beloved gospel summary in John 3:16. This does not mean that the church is not essential to God’s work of salvation – it is. But it is essential as God’s chosen people “who are blessed to be a blessing to the nations” (Genesis 12).
Missional Church edited by Darrell Guder
Mission is the result of God’s initiative, rooted in God’s purposes to restore and heal creation. “God’s mission is to set things right in a broken, sinful world, to redeem it, and to restore it to what God has always intended for the world.” Treasure in Clay Jars by Lois Y. Barrett et al.
I've come to believe that God's mission is to restore all of creation back to Shalom (wholeness, completeness, soundness). Luke indicates in his Gospel that restored wholeness has at least six dimensions: spiritual, physical, psychological, social, economic, and political. (I would add environmental as a seventh dimension.) God invites us to join him in his mission to restore wholeness in seven dimensions. God's mission is a reflection of his nature and character. God is a loving God who cares.
It has taken us decades to realize that mission is not just a program of the church. It defines the church as God’s sent people. Our challenge today is to move from church with mission to missional church. From Missional Church