The Simple Gospel

Re-imagining Missions

Published on August 9th, 2021

   
            

The term “missions” is often described as a project, trip, or assignment with the singular goal of spreading the gospel. It is also commonly understood to require travel outside one’s town, state, or even nation. But what if Missions is more than that? What if the Lord is calling each of us to be “Mission-Minded” in our daily walk with Him? Even to the point that when we get up out of bed each day, we are all purposed with a mission to be the salt and light of the world.

 

Let’s, for a moment, determine what your mindset is concerning “missions”. Ask yourself the following questions…

-What have I personally ever heard from God about missions?

-Is there reference in the bible I think of when I think of missions?

-Do I believe as a Christian that I have a mission calling?

-What role does the church have in missions?

 

God gave every Christian a commission and a promise in The Great Commission.

Matthew 28:18-20, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 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 things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

 

Jesus told His eleven disciples this was their commission:  to raise up others, from every nation, to observe what He had taught them, and that He would always be with them. 

 

What is a nation? Is it a country or a group of people?

The simple gospel of Jesus Christ calling us ALL to make disciples compels each and every individual to re-define missions as taking what we have learned about a personal relationship with Jesus, our testimony of a transformed life, the authority He has imparted to us, our God given skills or vocation, and then sharing that with another person or group through mentoring and discipleship.

 

How is this picture different from how you or the church actually participate in missions? Many times in the church we assume missionaries are only those who are specifically called to travel to foreign countries, to uproot their lives and “go” share the gospel. The rest of us who don’t fit that category often settle into the role of “staying behind” to pray for, or give financially towards those in the mission field (all very good things!). But if we begin to dig deeper into scripture and the life of Christ and His disciples, we will come to realize that we are deceiving ourselves if we too do not feel purposed and called to pick up the mantle of the Great Commission. Our personal engagement is required when we hear the “Go and make disciples” directed toward all, and not just the few.

 

The local church body is accountable to God for how it has invested and utilized the resources He has provided to further His kingdom.  The most important resource is you.  Yet He never intended your growth to be exclusively a personal relationship with Him.  Your growth is always intended to be invested and utilized to help others grow in God.  Jesus asked the disciples to “Follow Me”.  If we are to be like Jesus, we also are to raise up others to follow us as we follow Him.

Re-imagining Missions causes us to re-think and therefore, re-define our own active involvement in the local church body, and in our own communities. Perhaps today you might take some time to pray and ask the Lord how He wants to grow you in this next season. In what ways is God calling you to be mission-minded?

 

If you desire to follow Jesus’s call, these are some great ways to begin participating in The Great Commission (Acts 1:8), here at Living Hope Church.

-Be actively engaged in a Life Group – actively helping one another and reaching out as a group to others.

-Begin actively seeking opportunities to serve in church ministries which benefit the body as a whole.

-Participate in opportunities in our community to share the love of Christ and the gospel.

-Consider the skills or background God has given you and ask Him about how those things can be utilized in a current or new ministry.

-Cast off all thoughts that someone else will do it, I am not good at that, or not my calling – seek God for a renewed mind.

-Pray about how you can begin to share the your testimony with those around you, so all will be blessed and encouraged.

 

It’s true that missions can be what goes on in distant lands through people we pray for and financially support with love offerings.  However, that was not the original commission Jesus imparted.  His expectation was for our active participation in raising up disciples, so they would make disciples from generation to generation. It’s time for us to dig deep, and rediscover the heart of Jesus for each and every one of His followers…. it’s time to know that He is calling YOU!

 


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