When people hear the word “missions,” they usually think of evangelism or the “saving of souls.” While this understanding is not necessarily wrong, it is incomplete. The biblical understanding of missions is much wider in scope.
Of course, evangelism is central to the missional endeavor. Prior to ascending into heaven, Jesus does commission us to spread the gospel to the ends of the earth so that all people may become children of God. This is absolutely the greatest gift we can offer any person – a relationship with God. However, missions cannot be reduced only to this.
Biblical history ends in the Book of Revelation with the renewal of heaven and earth. The trajectory of God’s work culminates with the redemption of the entire created order which includes body, soul, and the rest of creation. Salvation encompasses not just human souls, but all of what God has made. When Jesus walked this earth, his ministry reflected this truth. Jesus not only preached the gospel so as to save souls, but he brought redemption to all areas of life – he healed the sick, showed compassion to the poor, and fed the hungry. When you couple this truth with God’s command to be good stewards of the material creation and James’ imperative to provide for both the physical and spiritual needs of people (James 2:16), it is quite clear that Christians are called to bring redemption to all spheres of life. This is what is known as the “redemptive gospel” – as Christians we are called by God not only to redeem souls, but to bring redemption all aspects of life.
Some Christians believe that since creation is going to “rot to hell” anyway, we need to focus our efforts on getting souls saved. However, theologically, this is a misguided interpretation of God’s action in the world and the implications of the gospel. Jesus renews creation in the end times, and that means he is calling his children to act in kind now. Jesus’ eschatological vision of a renewed creation is the template for what he is calling us to do today. The fact that Jesus renews creation does not mean we are to ignore it and then let him fix it later. Rather, as his children, we are called to participate in this renewal process.
The redemptive gospel is the foundation of New Mercy’s missional efforts. Consequently, we understand being missional not only as saving souls overseas. Rather, we understand missions as bringing redemption through everything we do at NMCC, locally and abroad. The leadership of New Mercy is dedicated to prayerfully and strategically calibrating the ministry so that everything we do aims at bringing renewal to lives on all levels – the spiritual, emotional, psychological, and physical.
We believe God calls us to be missional wherever we are, both locally and around the globe. Our local missional efforts are year-round and target the North Jersey and metropolitan areas. Our short-term vision and mission trips reach across the country and overseas.