Recently there have been a series of books released by the Keswick convention seeking to deal with important aspects of christian life and ministry. Mission Matters follows in this series and does not disappoint. Like many of the books written by Tim Chester (author and church leader from Sheffield) it is readable, reliable and thought provoking.
The book follows a simple structure looking at the character of God (Father, Son & Spirit) and his role in mission first. Following this there is a section where the biblical basis for mission is outlined leading to a number of chapters discussing the scope of the mission of God. And finally there are some practical implications flowing from the biblical and theological observations that are addressed.
One of the areas which is helpful is the role of the holy spirit in mission. Chester deals with this wisely and helpfully navigates the reader to see the ultimate purpose of the Spirit of God is to make much of Jesus, so that the Father receives praise and glory (p.49). So often the role of the Spirit is left untouched for fear of “charismania” or of misinterpretation. But thankfully this is not the case here; it is not glorifying to God to forget about his Spirit.
Another aspect which I found very beneficial was the third section of the book where a variety of different implications are brought to light through the scope of the mission of God. Using the three simple words of “who?”, “what?” & “where?”, Chester relates the global mission to the normal Christian and church. In particular I found the chapter discussing the role of the local church very helpful and I am sure that it will prove to bear lots of fruit in churches where this book is read.
One draw back though was how short the analysis of the biblical basis for mission was. The analysis was spot on and straight to the point, but it did seem a little hurried. However, that is where the books by Wright and Bosch can help, so it’s not a big thing, just an observation.
I would recommend this book highly! It would benefit the church to no end to rediscover its calling to reach all people, everywhere; especially when many are saying tha
t the real need is right outside. That may be true but to quote Helen Roseveare, “God does care, and he still wants us to care with his compassion for a world of need.” (commending Mission Matters).
Love Says Go!