In Part 5 of Frank Viola’s interview of Henry Hon about his book, “ONE: Unfolding God’s eternal purpose from house to house”, Henry further expatiates on how building up a proper functioning assembly should be the ultimate missional goal of every ministry/mission. Please enjoy this:
HEART TO HEART WITH HENRY (5): THE FINAL GOAL OF MISSIONS
What if someone said to you, "I follow all the missional leaders today and read their books. So, do I still need your book?"
Henry: When Christians are missional, what does it actually mean? It means that they are activated to carry out a mission. Christians can carry out many types of mission work, and every believer should participate in a mission: helping those less fortunate, preaching the gospel, new church planting, teaching the Bible and more. But to be truly missional, we need to enter into the same mission that Jesus Christ was anointed to accomplish.
As the Christ, His mission was to build up the assembly, His body, which is God’s eternal purpose. His followers need to enter into the same mission as He. Too often, Christian mission stops at one of the stations along the way to the destination without the complete view of the actual goal. For example, if your mission is merely evangelizing to save people from perdition, that alone is short of God’s eternal purpose. Yes, we need Christians to preach the gospel, heal the sick, care for the needy, but all of these missional activities need to be governed by the ultimate goal of accomplishing God’s eternal purpose in the building up of His body into one. Otherwise, those that are serving God can become judgmental toward other Christian work, competitive, and even divisive toward other Christians.
This book considers the building up of a proper functioning assembly as the final missional goal. The gospel, the nurturing of young and weak believers, discipleship, and the proactive embracing in fellowship with all believers are all for the one mission of Jesus Christ, which is the building up of His body. ONE explores the various steps along the way to the final goal of building up the assembly. This universal and unique fellowship is manifested in home assemblies as described in 1 Cor. 14 where the love for one another is displayed through the mutual functioning of each and every member of the body. As practiced throughout Acts, the aim is one assembly testifying of the unsearchable riches of Jesus Christ house after house.
ONE equally attempts to make being missional within reach for every single believer, no matter their environments, limitations, and personalities. Of course, it is admirable that some believers can actually go on a mission to another country or have the boldness to bring food to the homeless on the streets. But rather than waiting to make a big decision to submit to God and be missional in some impactful way, this book emphasizes on the “baby steps” in carrying out Christ’s mission that every believer can take just as they are, where they are, at any time and any place. When there is the proper vision of God’s eternal purpose, then our entire living is missional. When the oneness of Christ’s body is the goal, then not only is preaching the gospel missional, but even seeking out unfamiliar believers to pray and fellowship whether in a commuter train, while grocery shopping, or at a little league game is all part of our mission in Christ to build up His body.
To be concluded...