Reflections on Missions
"Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age." Matthew 28:19-20
As we set aside this week to focus on and celebrate God's heart for missions, I thought I would assemble a few reflections:
. God's heart beats for people, and so should ours. From creation, to the cross, to the church, God shows that his heart's work is to win and save people and restore them to a right relationship with him.
. Our call is to make disciples, not just converts. While what that involves is not always clear, the Great Commission gives us a couple of clues: living in community (baptizing) and learning his word (teaching). It indicates a long haul commitment, not just a presentation. It is a lifetime process, not just an event.
. Making disciples is ultimately God's work to do. We are not really capable of changing anyone's heart. That is uniquely God's work.
. Our heart for people grows out of our own encounter with grace. There is no room for missions out of obligation or guilt. There is no room for missions out of some fear that God's plan will be thwarted. Only out of a joy that springs from our increasing realization that we are in the same condition apart from the grace of God.
. There are no qualifications for this commission. We are all called to missions. For some this is a full time vocational calling, but for the rest of us it is a call to live each day intentionally, seeing the lives that our in our sphere are not there by accident.
. It is like worship, an all-of-life activity. It isn't a program we engage in from time to time. While events (concerts, speakers, Make and Take, Financial Seminar, etc.) are effective in gathering people, they are in and of themselves not missions. The mission begins in real ways, after the event, as we engage people over the truths they may have been exposed to.
. God is the one through the Holy Spirit that enables and empowers missional work. This is not a human work but a heavenly one accomplished through us from time to time.
. There is a great privilege in being called to being part of God's great redemptive work. While I understand our reluctance at times, and the concern that we will be misunderstood or in over our head, ultimately God calls us only to be armed with the evidence of our own grace walk - the reason for the hope within us.