The Five Marks of Mission have won wide acceptance among Anglicans and other Christian traditions and have given parishes and dioceses around the world a practical and memorable “checklist” for mission activities. They are not a final and complete statement on mission but they offer a practical guide to the holistic nature of mission.
They were first developed as four marks by the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC-6) in 1984. (See Bonds of Affection-1984 ACC-6 p49.)
A fifth was added in 1990 when, having appreciated the missiological and biblical implications of the creation and environmental crisis, ACC-8 decided that a new mark of mission that captured this understanding was inevitable. In adopting this fifth Mark of Mission, ACC-8 stated: “We now feel that our understanding of the ecological crisis, and indeed of the threats to the unity of all creation, mean that we have to add a fifth affirmation.” (See Mission in a Broken World-1990 ACC-8 p101.)
Since then, it has become clear that as the Anglican Communion travels along the road towards being mission-centred, the Five Marks need to be understood as dynamic and should be reviewed regularly. To this end, the wording of the Fourth Mark was revised by ACC-15 in Auckland, New Zealand in 2012.