JEFFERSON CITY – As scholar in residence for the Missouri Baptist Convention, Dr. Bill Victor serves under the direction of Executive Director Dr. John Yeats to help implement a multi-year effort to reorient the MBC staff around a restated vision and mission.
The vision of the MBC missionary staff is: “Transforming lives and communities with the gospel.” The mission for all MBC missionaries is: “Cooperating with Missouri Baptists to make disciples, multiply churches, and develop leaders.”
In this Q&A, Victor defines key terms that are crucial to the MBC’s efforts to carry out its mission.
Q: The MBC’s vision is transforming lives and communities with the gospel. What is a biblical definition of the gospel?
A: We have to keep in mind that a “gospel” was primarily an announcement of good news. So, a biblical “gospel” would be the announcement that the kingdom of God is at hand. It is the story of the good news of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Its content is found in the sermons of the apostles. It is the announcement that Christians are to continue to proclaim to the world.
Q: How should we understand the kingdom of God?
A: This falls right in with the gospel announcement. Jesus began his teaching ministry with an announcement that the kingdom of God was at hand. The story of Jesus is the story of God’s kingdom being launched on earth as it is in heaven. It is the story in which evil has been defeated and new creation has begun. We, as followers of Jesus, are commissioned and equipped to bring that victory to our communities.
Q: What is a biblical definition of the church?
A: The church is the people of God. It describes God’s people globally and in individual congregations. The church is the community of people who have submitted to Jesus as king and in whom God is at work through the Holy Spirit. An individual’s commitment to the church is by repentance, pledging allegiance to King Jesus and submission to baptism by immersion.
Q: In what ways does the Bible describe the “mission” of all believers?
A: The word “mission” comes from a root meaning of “to send.” The concept of sending and being sent lies at the heart of “mission” and really starts in the heart of God.
When we speak of mission we need to be thinking about all that God is doing in His great purpose for the whole of creation and all that He calls us to do in cooperation with that purpose.
The mission of God is the duty of all of Jesus’ followers – that is, to make disciples of all nations (Matt. 28.19-20); to be a blessing to those nations (Gen. 12.1-3); to seek the welfare of our cities (Jer. 29.7); and to be salt of the earth and light of the world (Matt. 5.13-14).