“Mission begins with commissioning. Therefore, preaching is an essential part of mission. I suppose that we preachers ought to strive, in every sermon, to have some illustration or example whereby ordinary Christian people could sense God’s vocation. Mission begins in the heart of God, in God’s determination to love the world, to have a people. Mission involves individual Christians hearing their names called to be part of that mission.
One of the greatest hindrances for mission is lack of imagination. Too many people in the church think of mission as something exotic, something that goes on somewhere else, something that cannot work here. In preaching, particularly when stories of mission activity and success are narrated, people are disarmed, they let down their defenses, they come to see themselves as part of God’s gracious activity in the world. Thus, mission and preaching are powerfully related. I know of no congregation where there is active, bold, engaging mission where there is not also vibrant preaching. People are in mission because in preaching they have heard a commission by the pastor, who is the chief missionary of the missional congregation.”