The biblical record often observes that when the people of God mistakenly think they are God’s only or primary concern, they become callous to the very people God is wooing. This attitude reflects poorly on God and earns his judgment. Jesus’ beef with the Pharisees focused precisely on their failure on this point. They misrepresented his Father while claiming to be his representatives on earth. The church that claims to be the people of God must submit itself to the role of participating in the mission of God in the world. The very notion that the church can be successful apart from an improved world reflects a disconnect from God’s mission and even raises the question of whether or not people who think this way are even recognized by God as his people.
— Reggie McNeal,
Missional Renaissance, p.37