The Rethink Mission logo looks like a stylized compass. The firstthing you notice about it are the arrows pointing out, which makes sense. Each of us, cultural missionaries, are sent to the corners of the globe (or to the edges of our cities) with a unique purpose.
What’s not as apparent are the 3 larger arrows pointing in. The internal work of the triune God who, in love, chose us, redeemed us, and makes us new. The fact that God comes to us, offering relationship despite our sin, is only a work of grace. Christ dies for his enemies to make them his friends; to make them his family. This is the gospel.
And that grace – received, believed, internalized – works in us, freeing us from guilt, shame, and despair, changing the way we relate to God and others, changing what we put our deepest hope in and derive our fullest joy from.
This is the internal transformation that only the gospel brings.
We need this. First.
Because you can’t go about fixing this world, until you yourself are at least on your way to repair. You can’t bring new life to this world until you yourself have experienced that life.
Otherwise, the very best of actions that stem from an inwardly empty self, though they may look like life, in reality have the stench of death about them.
I need the gospel to make me new.
But gospel renewal is always moving, always dynamic. The pages of scripture are filled with story after story – from the appearance of God to Moses, to the call of Isaiah; from the call of the first disciples, to the birth of the New Testament church – showing simply that God first draws us only then to send us out.
If a heart, charged and transformed by the grace of God does not explode outward in mission, then grace has not truly been experienced. It is the very nature of grace to move out to broken places and broken people.
Grace has movement: first in to renew the heart; then out to renew the world.
In. A heart renewed by the gospel.
Out. A missionary sent to work for the renewal of all things.