Integrating the gospel and economic justice

What is integral mission? It’s the lessons learned from the whole Bible, that God desires both systemic economic justice and personal compassion, respect, and generosity towards the poor and needy.

Integral mission is the task of bringing the whole of life under the lordship of Jesus Christ, and includes the affirmation that there is no biblical dichotomy between evangelistic and social responsibility.

The Micah Network in Oxford defines integral mission as “the proclamation and demonstration of the gospel, emphasizing that it is not simply the issue of evangelism and social involvement being done alongside each other but rather that ‘our proclamation has social consequences as we call people to love and repentance in all areas of life, and that ‘our social involvement has evangelistic consequences as we bear witness to the transforming grace of Jesus Christ.’

The mission of God is to “reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven” (Colossians 1:20). Our part is crossing geographic, cultural, politic, economic, and social barriers with the intention of transforming human life in all its dimensions. We do this according to God’s purpose of enabling human beings to enjoy the abundant life that God wants to give to them and that Jesus Christ came to share with them.

Thus, issues of community development and health, HIV/AIDS, human trafficking, WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene), relief, and food security figure prominently in the sphere of integral mission. Theologically understood, integral mission is a concern for every issue network that is part of the Lausanne Movement.

So we are working as a voice to guide the church in developing theological and philosophical underpinnings for integral mission. Lausanne is doing this by offering ourselves as a resource for others seeking to practice integral mission.

We also advocate for the church to fulfill its calling to integral mission through deed and proclamation. As we gather and create resources, models and standards for integral mission, we hope the church will join us in working to bring everything under the Lordship of Christ.

This article has been excerpted from this article by Ravi Jayakaran on Lausanne Movement’s Integral Missions page.

Photo: Thomas Somme, Unsplash.

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