What is Integral Mission?

Integral mission is the church speaking of and living out its faith in Jesus Christ in an undivided way in every aspect of life.

 

The expression “integral mission” (misión integral) came into use principally within the Latin American Theological Fraternity (FTL) about twenty years ago. It was an attempt to highlight the importance of conceiving of the mission of the church within a more biblical theological framework than the traditional one, which had been accepted in evangelical circles due to the influence of the modern missionary movement. In the last few years the expression has been used so widely that the literal translation into English, integral mission, is gradually becoming a part of the vocabulary of those who are pressing for a more holistic approach to the Christian mission, even outside Spanish-speaking evangelical circles.

Although it has recently become fashionable to use the term “integral mission”, the approach to mission that it expresses is not new. The practice of integral mission goes back to Jesus himself and to the first century Christian church. Furthermore, a growing number of churches are putting this style of mission into practice without necessarily using this expression to refer to what they are doing: “integral mission” is not part of their vocabulary. It is clear that the practice of integral mission is much more important than the use of this new expression to refer to it.

As the Micah Declaration on Integral Mission states: “It is not simply that evangelism and social involvement are to be done alongside each other. Rather, in integral mission our proclamation has social consequences as we call people to love and repentance in all areas of life. And our social involvement has evangelistic consequences as we bear witness to the transforming grace of Jesus Christ. If we ignore the world, we betray the word of God which sends us out to serve the world. If we ignore the word of God, we have nothing to bring to the world. Justice and justification by faith, worship and political action, the spiritual and the material, personal change and structural change belong together. As in the life of Jesus, being, doing and saying are at the heart of our integral task.


Below are a number of articles that may help you dig a bit deeper into Integral Mission:

“What is Integral Mission?” by Rene Padilla

Micah Declaration on Integral Mission

“Re-affirming Holistic Mission” by Chris Wright

“Integral Mission and its Historical Development” by Rene Padilla

If you want to still dig deeper then see our Theology of Integral Mission page.