Across England, churches are working together in mission in surprising, creative and collaborative ways – sharing the love of God with their communities. You can find out more in our topical mission pages, ranging from food to sport, social action to unity movements, and elderly people to racial justice. 

Mission (missio dei) is the total redeeming work of God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – in saving, healing, restoring and renewing the World. The Church is invited to join in this adventure.  

Simply put: mission begins and ends in God. 

Jurgen Moltmann encapsulates this well by saying, “It is not the church that has a mission of salvation to fulfil in the world; it is the mission of the Son and the Spirit through the Father that includes the church, creating a church as it goes on its way.” That work is helpfully described in the five Marks of Mission. 

The Five Marks of Mission

The mission of the Church is the mission of Christ: 

  1. To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom
  2. To teach, baptise and nurture new believers 
  3. To respond to human need by loving service 
  4. To transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and pursue peace and reconciliation 
  5. To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation, and sustain and renew the life of the earth 

Another way of thinking about this might be the summary of Tell, Teach, Tend, Transform and Treasure. But it’s worth remembering that any attempt categorise and label the expansive vision of the missio dei always falls short. 

These five marks of mission have been developed by the Anglican Consultative Council since 1984, based on Jesus’ own summary of his mission. Since then, they have been widely adopted as an understanding of what contemporary mission is about. The five marks are not a perfect or complete definition of mission, but they are a good starting point and open up a rich and holistic approach to doing mission in the 21st century.

For more information on the five marks, see work from our friends at CTBI (one of the resources under the heading ‘Mission’).  

Find out more about mission: 

Photo credit: © Kevin Snyman