I recently heard from a church member that a few of his peers had left the church because they were offended by a preacher saying that this church was not for those who didn’t believe in missions.
I couldn’t help but think – Is there a church that does not believe in missions?
When Jesus’ time on earth was ending, He gave His disciples a mission that would affect the entire world to this day. When we become Christ followers, we inherit that same mandate.
Let me underscore the breathtaking significance of this Great Com-mission by the Son of God, Creator of the universe, Author of life, specifically assigned to each follower just before He left. Then He said He’d return when it was completed.
‘And this Gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.’ Matthew 24:14
The implication was that Jesus’ specific command not only becomes the central mission of our lives but also provides the deepest purpose and meaning.
Just as God created birds to fly and fish to swim, He created us to live as citizens in his emerging Kingdom and invite others to join us.
That’s the mission He gave. The corollary is that, if we’re not fully engaged in this great mission of God in our world, we’d miss the very thing we were created for.
I was reminded of Pastor Bill Johnson sharing about monarch butterflies that migrate from Mexico to Canada. Once they start their travels, it takes four generations to reach their destination. The butterflies leave the millions of other butterflies living in a particular forest in Mexico and begin the journey to Canada. When they’ve travelled their prescribed distance, they lay eggs, which become caterpillars, each forming a cocoon, and become a new butterfly.
They fly as far as they can, lay eggs for the next generation of butterflies to continue the trip and the cycle continues. Instinctively, they know their mission and assignment – they’re born with a mission.
Pastor Bill writes, “Living with the realisation that it will not be one generation that gets our assignment finished might help us as we prepare the next generation for their reason for being.”
How can true followers of Jesus Christ be offended by this mandate?
We sing a few songs, shake a few hands, and listen to a pleasant homily. Are we building a clubhouse of convenient, comfortable, consumer Christianity? When the call of our Master to lay down our lives, take up our crosses, and share in His suffering echoes from our pulpits becomes offensive.
We, as Jesus’ followers, must obey His commands to live radically different lives – to build and establish the Kingdom of God, make disciples of all nations, and demonstrate His love to a hurting world.
Christ did not call us to retreat from the world, but to enter it. He said to His disciples, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent Me, so I am sending you.” John 20:21
Let me leave you with a quote from Robert Sterns’ book, ‘Unfinished’ – The meaning, purpose, and significance of our lives is found only by aligning our lives with God’s purposes; in lives committed to following Jesus Christ. He has called us to follow Him and He called us to GO!