Five Marks of Mission – Part two of five
I am writing a series about the Five Marks of Mission. Here they are again.
- To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom.
- To teach, baptise and nurture new believers.
- To respond to human need by loving service.
- To seek to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and to pursue peace and reconciliation.
- To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth.
This month, we are looking at the second mark; to teach baptise and nurture new believers.
There are many ways in which we can engage in these tasks. We do not need specialised knowledge or skills. St. Francis of Assisi is reputed to have said something like this. “Preach the Gospel at all times, only use words if you have to”. He is clearly suggesting that we can teach by setting an example that others may follow.
The example we set allows the process of teaching and nurturing. We can bring people to church for baptism.
At Morning Prayer, we are reading through the Letter of James. James expresses strong views on the consequences of faith. St. Paul tells us that we are not saved by actions, but by faith alone. James argues that while this is true, faith should inspire us to action and good works. He writes:
15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
So what impact does Christian faith have on each of us? I have written elsewhere this month about how volunteering can make such a positive contribution to our church and society.
As you can see from the Third Mark of Mission, this is going to become a recurring theme, but this month, think about how the way we all live our lives can contribute to the process of teaching and nurturing, encouraging and supporting our fellow brothers and sisters in faith.