GC2016 affirms mission of church: disciples, transformation

KenBy Jessica Brodie

PORTLAND, Ore.—General Conference affirmed May 19 existing language that declares the mission of the church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

“We’ve been having some conversations about the mission of the church,” said the Rev. Ken Nelson, South Carolina clergy delegate to General Conference. “And there was some concern about whether or not we needed to drop the second part of that, the transformation of the world, and to simply focus in on making disciples of Jesus Christ.” However, after considerable conversation, the body determined it was best to keep the two together.

“For it’s a common belief, as we make disciples of Jesus Christ, that indeed lives and the world around us will be transformed,” Nelson said. “And so we keep together that which we find of personal holiness and social holiness in keeping the witness of the church together and seeing our lives transformed as individuals and corporately as a society.”

Nelson said that all of General Conference has underscored that concept, from what he called “the phenomenal worship” to the very theme of this year’s quadrennial gathering for the denomination.

“The theme for General Conference is ‘Therefore Go,’ and I think it plays right into the mission of the church of what it means to be a sent community sharing the Gospel of the world around us,” Nelson said.

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