More apropos comments from Karl Barth on the church and/as mission:
And now, finally, we can put the question and answer it from a very different standpoint. The direction which was peculiar to the apostles and which we find in Scripture involved for them a particular and highly individual attitude and way of existence which we can only describe as supreme realism. For them their discipleship, apostolate, authority, power and mission was not an end in itself. From first to last — at this point we are forced back to our key thought — it was absolutely a matter of their service, their ministry as heralds. As their distinctive title ‘apostle’ shows us, they were sent out to preach the Gospel in the world, a light which had been kindled to give light to all that are in the house (Matt. 5:15) — nothing more. The character given to them is not great or significant in itself. Not even in the highest conceivable sense is it a matter of their own good or ill, of their own honour, or even of the self-reposing structural importance and dignity of the work which they have to accomplish in this character. Their being and their work both point beyond themselves. Their field is the world, and they are only sowers who pass over it. They renounce any self-grounded or self-reposing rightness or importance of their distinctive being and activity. It is the special direction in which they look, to the One who has made them His and whom they have recognised as theirs, which forces them to make this renunciation. It cannot be otherwise than that even in this renunciation they should be a normative pattern to the community gathered by their ministry. As an apostolic Church the Church can never in any respect be an end in itself, but, following the existence of the apostles, it exists only as it exercises the ministry of a herald. It builds itself up itself and its members in the common hearing of the Word of God which is always new, in common prayer, in baptism and the Lord’s Supper, in the practice of its inner fellowship, in theology. But it cannot forget that it cannot do these things simply for its own sake, but only in the course of its commission — only in an implicit and explicitly outward movement to the world with which Jesus Christ and in His person God accepted solidarity, for which he died, and in which He rose again in indication of the great revelation of the inversion accomplished in Him. For this reason the Church can never be satisfied with what it can be and do as such. As His community it points beyond itself. At bottom it can never consider its own security, let alone its appearance. As His community it is always free from itself. In its deepest and most proper tendency it is not churchly, but worldly — the Church with open doors and great windows, behind which it does better not to close itself in upon itself again by putting in pious stained-glass windows. It is holy in its openness to the street and even the alley, in its turning to the profanity of all human life — the holiness which, according to Rom. 12:5, does not scorn to rejoice with them that do rejoice and to weep with them that weep. Its mission is not additonal to its being. It is, as it is sent and active in its mission. It builds up itself for the sake of its mission and in relation to it. It does it seriously and actively as it is aware of its mission and in the freedom from itself which this gives. If it is the apostolic Church determined by Scripture and therefore by the direction of the apostles, it cannot fail to exist in this freedom and therefore in a strict realism more especially in relation to itself. And when it does this it cannot fail to be recognisable and recognised as apostolic and therefore as the true Church. (CD IV/1, 724-25).