I love this post from Frank Viola on the Missio Dei - below is an excerpt. You can find the post in its entirety at The Missio Dei Take a look.
The big sweeping epic of God’s timeless purpose is centered on a bride, a house, a body, and a family. These four elements make up the grand narrative of the Bible. The mission of God—the Missio Dei—is wrapped up with each of them.
God’s mission demands more than a theological head-nod of agreement. It demands practical expression. The Lord wants a people who embody the bride, the house, the body, and the family in every city on this planet.
In this post and the next, we will briefly explore the practical question of what it looks like when a local fellowship of believers fulfills what God is after and His eternal purpose moves from eternity to here.
In an era where many are dismissing the Bride of Christ as unneeded or worse yet, ugly, Frank gets at some essential aspects of what it means to be church.