I’m enjoying What is the Mission of the Church? by Kevin DeYoung and Greg Gilbert (author of What is the Gospel?). They offer a clear and concise statement on what mission looks like in Acts. While this statement needs elaboration (and they do develop it), it provides a helpful calibration of what the church’s mission does and doesn’t include in Acts. Insofar as this statement accurately reflects the scope and nature of mission in Acts, it helps us better understand what defines the church’s mission in the 21st century.
The book of Acts is especially important because in it we can actually see the scope and nature of the earliest Christian mission. If you are looking for a picture of the early church giving itself to creation care, plans for societal renewal, and strategies to serve the community in Jesus’ name, you won’t find them in Acts. But if you are looking for preaching, teaching, and the centrality of the Word, this is your book. The story of Acts is the story of the earliest Christians’ efforts to carry out the commission given to them in Acts 1:8 (Kevin DeYoung and Greg Gilbert, What is the Mission of the Church? Making Sense of Social Justice, Shalom, and the Great Commission [Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2011], 49).