Paul writes - At the heart of mission Dei (‘the mission of God’), I think, is God’s desire for shalom (which ‘signifies the dynamic action of restoring all things to their original integrity according to the intention of God. Shalom manifests itself in harmonious relationships with God, self, others and all of creation’).
Too often though it seems to me that “mission”, our participation in God’s missio Dei has become ‘code’ for “evangelism,” and thus loses its richer, more holistic focus on shalom as being concerned for fullness of life (‘on earth as it is in heaven) over and against all that diminishes, de-means, and destroys life, fullness, and wholeness.
Mission is thus concerned about shalom in relation to oneself (mind, body, spirit); shalom in its communal, relationship, neighborhood, national and international dimensions; shalom in an ecological sense – you get the picture.
What if the things that matter most in our joining in on what God is doing (in us and around us) is how we work for shalom, the ongoing conversion of life and living such that we and others are healed and transformed at every level of our being?
What if it had to do with an integrated sense of our becoming more fully human after the example of Jesus – if the heart of mission, the work of the Spirit is the work that God does in us, even as we are working for shalom on behalf of others and the ‘worlds’ in which we live? What if the heart of mission is our own inner conversions, our transformation, and the lived-out recognition that how we are in the world; how we embody and work for shalom, affects all others with whom our lives come into contact. This latter point seems more analogous to Jesus’ ministry culminating in the work of the cross.
Christianity, like every other religion, must prove itself in the ordinary and the everyday. It's proving ground is in our own life and living...whether individually, relationally or, for example, communally as church etc.