Which came first, church or mission?

This side of heaven, missiology and ecclesiology are so intertwined, it is difficult to to determine which came first.  Might it be that the sequence is irrelevant, that missiology does not serve ecclesiology and ecclesiology does not serve missiology?

I have said in a previous post that theology proper is the only primary theological element:

On any given day and in any given circumstance, the individual elements relate to one another, sometimes as influence, but always with reciprocation. This means, for example, that missiology does not come before or after ecclesiology, but that these are in a reciprocal relationship, where each influences the other. Depending on the specific need, one or the other has more influence.

What does this have to do with our practice?

About Laura

My name is Laura and I am on a journey, pondering the implications of God's glorious design of humanity and integrating every aspects of this design into a description of whole life health.
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2 Responses to Which came first, church or mission?

  1. Alan Knox says:

    I like the idea of a reciprocal relationship. In fact, I like to think of us as both gathered (ecclesiology) and sent (missiology) – an idea that I got from the Anabaptists. If we miss one or the other, or if they are not held in balance, then our identity and practice will be affected negatively.


  2. Laura says:

    The more I think about theology and practice, the more I see interrelationships. Systematic Theology taught me to categorize; now I’m learning to integrate, both theology with itself and theology with practice.

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