Kevin DeYoung has a great post clarifying what he means by the priority of proclamation when defining the mission of the church. Here’s a snapshot:
- If we as individuals and churches are becoming more like Christ, there should grow in us a spirit of deep compassion for the needs of hurting people. If we are like Jesus, we’ll see the sadness and confusion and suffering in the world and something in us will cry out, “I want to do something about this. I want to make this better. I am sorry for this pain.”
- Proclamation must remain the church’s priority. The Great Commission is what the church is sent into the world to accomplish while the command “do good to all people” is what we do as we have opportunity. The church’s mission is not best described as “serving others as disciples of Christ” but “making disciples of Christ as servants of others.”
- When our churches support “mercy ministry” or “relief work” or “humanitarian aid” or “city renewal” there should always be the overarching goal that Christ might be known, understood, believed upon, and followed. The world needs doctors, nurses, politicians, NGOs, agronomists, social workers, film makers, and thousand other vocations saturated with Christian professionals. But as churches think of mission work, mission organization, and its mission in general, there should also be a larger purpose aimed at and prayer for besides making the world a better place.