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The Mission of God's People

A Biblical Theology of the Church’s Mission
Christopher J. H. Wright
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What does the Bible say about God's purpose for us, the witness of the church, and our mission to spread the message of the gospel?

Chris Wright's pioneering 2006 book, The Mission of God, revealed that the typical Christian understanding of "missions" encompasses only a small part of God's overarching mission for the world. God is relentlessly reclaiming the whole of creation for himself, and each of us fit into that big-picture plan.

In The Mission of God's People, Wright argues that having a strong biblical theology that shapes our thinking and behavior must be in place before answering the call of the Great Commission. Wright first steps back and answers some of the biggest questions of God's story and our place within it:

  • Who are the people of God?
  • What kind of people are we?
  • What are the priorities and limits of our mission?
  • What exactly is the gospel that lies at the core of our mission?
  • What was it that made Christianity a missionary faith from the very start?

While answering these essential questions, Wright thoroughly details what the Old and New Testaments teach Christians about being God's people. He addresses questions of both ecclesiology (the theology of the church) and missiology (the practice and methodology of missions) with topics like "called to care for creation," "called to bless the nations," "sending and being sent, and "rejecting false gods."


Part of the Biblical Theology for Life series, this practical and robust book will help you and your church ground your witness-bearing purpose and worship on the solid foundation of biblical understanding and reflection.

About the Author

Dr. Christopher J. H. Wright is Global Ambassador for the Langham Partnership International. His many books include Hearing the Message of Ecclesiastes, Hearing the Message of Daniel, Knowing Jesus through the Old Testament, Old Testament Ethics for the People of God, Deuteronomy (Understanding the Bible Commentary), Salvation Belongs to Our God, The Mission of God, The God I Don't Understand, and The Mission of God's People. Chris and his wife Liz, who have four adult children and eleven grandchildren, live in London, UK, and belong to All Souls Church, Langham Place.

Table of Contents

Queuing the Questions
1. Who Are We and What Are We Here For?
Arriving at Answers
2. People Who Know the Story They Are Part Of
3. People Who Care for Creation
4. People Who Are a Blessing to the Nations
5. People Who Walk in God’s Way
6. People Who Are Redeemed for Redemptive Living
7. People Who Represent God to the World
8. People Who Attract Others to God
Interlude – Pause for Thought
9. People Who Know the One Living God and Saviour
10. People Who Bear Witness to the Living God
11. People Who Proclaim the Gospel of Christ
12. People Who Send and Are Sent
13. People Who Live and Work in the Public Square
14. People Who Praise and Pray
Reflecting on Relevance
15. The Journey So Far and the Journey Ahead


A wonderfully kaleidoscopic biblical overview of the privileged role afforded to all of God’s people in fulfilling the Missio Dei in the world. Chris Wright demonstrates that the theme of the mission of God and his people is a prominent and unmistakable thread running through the elaborate tapestry of the whole of Scripture. In so doing, he provides a ringing affirmation that it is the responsibility of the whole church to bear witness to Christ and his kingdom in every area of the world geographically, as well as in every sphere of society. -- Lindsay Brown, Director

Following his landmark book, The Mission of God, Christopher Wright shows in The Mission of God’s People that grounding missions practice in the prior action and plan of God does not render the church static or passive. In this masterful survey, Wright demonstrates decisively what happens when the whole church starts reading the whole Bible and reflecting the full scope of God’s good news in all our life and witness in the world. This is the long-awaited road map that moves missions from the practice of a few elite professionals to the faithful witness of all of God’s children. If want to help your church become a missional church, I cannot think of a better place to begin that journey than this book. I assure you, you will discover afresh who you are in Christ and what you are here for! -- Timothy C. Tennent, Professor

If Chris Wright’s Mission of God’s People is a harbinger of things to come in Zondervan’s new series, Biblical Theology for Life, we are in for a treat. As the first in this series, this volume not only serves as a delightful sequel and complement to his highly acclaimed The Mission of God, but it has also put his holistic interpretation of the Scriptures into the hands of laypeople. This is biblical theology at its best. For too long biblical scholars, theologians, and pastors have driven a wedge between the Hebrew Bible and the Christian New Testament by focusing on the discontinuities. Wright has shown us another way. Through his comprehensive reading of the whole Bible, he offers a robust portrayal of Israel’s mission and our own. Just as Israel was called and sent out into the world to give witness to the grace of “the LORD” (Yahweh), so we are “the people whom God has loved, chosen, redeemed, shaped and sent into the world in the name of Christ” (p. 433). Thank you, Chris, for showing us that God’s election is not about us; it is about the world. May this work inspire his church to greater faithfulness in giving verbal witness to God’s redemptive grace for the cosmos, but also to greater ethical faithfulness as we embody his grace in the microcosms in which we live. -- Daniel Block, Professor

This is the first volume in a new series on biblical theology. It is extraordinarily readable, written by a preacher who knows how to communicate simply, clearly, and fascinatingly. It is refreshingly adventurous, as it explores the theme of mission in biblical passages where you might not have expected to find it. It is excitingly controversial in discussing such matters as the relation of care for the planet to evangelism, but always in an irenic manner. It is also remarkably practical, being concerned with the theological underpinning for the church’s action in the world. It is surprisingly relevant, concerned as it is with the central story of God’s mission to the world as the template that must shape the work of the church. It is outstandingly down-to-earth in showing how our daily lives must be outworkings of our missionary calling. It is thus eminently commendable both for its own sake and also as setting a high standard for the other volumes to follow in this series. -- Howard Marshall, Professor

What a marvelous author Chris Wright is! Here you get the distilled insight of someone who knows mission and knows the Scriptures---and because he is an Old Testament specialist, he gives that major part of the Scriptures the prominence it deserves, even (especially?) when we are thinking about a subject such as mission that might seem to belong to the New Testament. And he doesn’t confine himself to scriptural themes but enables us to get inside lots of particular Scriptures, all in easily manageable chunks. What do theology and mission have to do with each other? This book powerfully answers the question. -- John Goldingay, Professor

  • Product Details
  • Page Count: 304
  • Format: Softcover
  • ISBN: 9780310291121
  • Release: August 11, 2010
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