The Anglican Communion understands mission as primarily God’s mission (Misio Dei). For the Anglican Communion, God's mission is holistic, concerned for all human beings and the totality of a human person; body mind and spirit. It is concerned for the totality of God's creation. This holistic understanding of mission is expressed in the Five Marks of Mission as shown below:
The Five Marks of Mission are not comprehensive in themselves but they serve as a guide and help the churches within the Communion to live out a mission lifestyle in their local contexts, and in variety of ways.
Mission takes place primarily in a local context - congregation, parish, diocese and province - it is the responsibility of every baptised Christian; young and old, male and female, lay and ordained.
An overview of current mission activity within the Anglican Communion can be found in the document Holistic Mission
The Mission Department exists to serve the Anglican Communion as it seeks to fulfil God's mission in God's world and add value to the life and ministry of the churches of the Communion. It can only do what otherwise cannot be done by individual churches. There are currently three main strands to the work of the department:
Relief and Development - through the process of setting up an Anglican Communion alliance of Anglican development agencies and departments to enable an effective and collaborative community development work; this process is jointly supported by the Mission Department and the office for International Development at Lambeth Palace.
Anglican Communion Networks - these serve and promote particular areas of mission and ministry across and throughout the Communion, sharing information and resources, and arranging gatherings on particular themes to strengthen the work being done and plan for the future. The Networks report to the Anglican Consultative Council.
The department works by:
The Mission Department was created in 1971  but has recently been restructured  and has been responsible for a number of Mission Commissions and had an overview of Companion Links and has produced other resources available on this web site.
1. The agenda and content of the 2008 Lambeth Conference whose theme was 'Equipping Bishops to Fulfil Their Leadership Role in God's Mission', was very much shaped by the Communion's understanding of mission as central to the existence and life of the Church. In preparing for the 2008 Lambeth Conference, the Mission Department carried out a survey on mission and evangelism issues around the Communion and produced a booklet, Holistic Mission, out of which many Self Select Sessions were prepared for the bishops and the spouses at the Lambeth Conference.
2. Right from the first Anglican Consultative Council meeting (ACC-1 in 1971) in Nairobi (Kenya), Mission has been an important strand of the work of the Anglican Communion Office. At this first meeting, the ACC identified four themes, Unity and Ecumenical Affairs; the Church's role in Society; Order and organisation in the Anglican Church, and Mission and Evangelism. Mission has always run along side other themes through successive Lambeth conferences and other Communion gatherings.
3. The Mission and Evangelism Department was restructured after the Joint Standing Committee meeting passed a resolution in November 2008 to re-name the department as the ‘Mission Department.’ This change reflects the holistic nature of God’s mission and the understanding that evangelism is an integral part of mission, and not separate from it. To ensure that the emphasis upon evangelism was not lost the Evangelism and Church Growth Initiative was created as one of the strands of the Mission Department.