BP AREN’T THE ONLY ONES ‘ON THE MOVE’
When someone mentions the word “Missionary,” we often think of someone wearing a brown, short-sleaved suit with a pith helmet and showing the social effects of spending too long in the jungle. One of the corollaries of this sort of thinking, though, is that we come to believe that mission is someone else’s responsibility – we pay people to go overseas and we give our offering to Church so that the pastor can do the mission here. However, that is simply not the case!
We are all missionaries and we are all in a mission-field now. Someone has said that the Church is the only organisation in the world that exists to benefit people who are not already its members. We are, in short, a “going” people and our God-given mission is to keep on going until Christ comes again. It is a dynamic, Spirit-filled, Christ-glorifying mission that will ultimately lead to the day when every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord!
WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY?
The most obvious Biblical mandate for our mission is the Great Commission of Matthew 28:18-20, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Just as our Lord had come from Heaven to save fallen humanity, so now Jesus passes on the mission to His people, who represent Him. As John records Jesus saying after His resurrection, “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” (John 20:21)Simply, GO!
But, where are we to go? God’s purpose for spreading His news to the whole world was shown as early as Abraham, “all peoples on earth will be blessed through you” (Genesis 12:3) and it was this zeal to take God’s Gospel to the World that drove Paul in his ministry, “Therefore I want you to know that God's salvation has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will listen!" (Acts 28:28). Simply, GO!
And yet, we are to “go” right where we are. We are to be missionaries in our own backyard. “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field." (Matthew 9:37-38) Wherever we are, share the Gospel. Simply, GO!
MISSIONS ARE A MEASURE OF HEALTH
Jesus said, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” (John 15:1-2) A healthy vine is a growing vine and while this verse undoubtedly refers to more than just outreach, we need to see that it is at least central to what Jesus is saying. A healthy Christian is one that shares the Gospel; a healthy Church is one that sees conversions. Simply, GO!
This is the shortest “Talking Point” so far, not because it is unimportant but because the message is
the simplest – share the Gospel; Just Walk Across the Room; Simply, GO!
Next month, we’ll continue our series on “Living in the Church Community” as we look at the
Church’s ethical task.