I haven’t blogged for quite a while. I’ve been pretty busy working towards other issues and roles in my life. I have been working on http://www.cpwichita.org and trying to figure out what a residency might look like at West Free Church in the future. I thought I would blog a few thoughts that I have jotted down the past few months that have impacted my thinking and living as I continue to understand who God is and who he has called me to be.
I am finishing up teaching the Students in our student ministry these next couple of weeks and we have been going through a series called “Sent.” Alot of the series is focusing on what it looks like to be a missionary in the context that God has called those that know him and follow him to. In the New Testament, in the book of John alone, we find that Jesus says that he is ‘sent by his Father’ 39 times. Then, he turns around and calls the people that follow him sent by him. This begs the question “What are we sent to or who are we sent to?” And what we find is that our mission is pretty clear. We are to “love God, love others, and serve the world. There are three clear areas of living that we need to engage in.
Love God – Our relationship with the God of the universe seems to be the beginning and crux of what it means to know and follow Jesus. We obey God because God first loved us. It’s not a list of rules, regulations, dos and don’ts, etc… Rather, it is this staggering walk of faith that culminates in following Jesus (Sometimes haphazardly because I am human!)
Love Others – We were created to live in relationship with people. God created Adam, and then created Eve. Relationships are important. Loving others because God first loved us is important. It’s more then loving the people that love us, it’s loving the unlovable, it’s having relationships with those that are down and out, it’s caring for those that are hard to care for. And we don’t do this because we want to ‘get people saved.’ We simply do this because Jesus called us to do this. And his life inspires us toward this. Within this, we find the great commission, the clear mission that Jesus gave us, to “Go and Make Disciples.” We are explicitly sent people in this passage.
Serve the World – We serve out of love. 1 John seems to point out that love must be present in any persons life that knows and follows Jesus. We serve people, we serve our world because we know and follow Jesus.
Here are some other thoughts that I wrote down in the past several months.
- Church Planting is not the goal, Making disciples is the goal and often, making disciples culminates in a planted church.
- If every person in our established churches saw themselves as and then lived as a missionary, we would have the potential to double the size of Christ followers each year. Currently we experience the opposite outcomes
- The landscape of our culture and context is always changing. If we are unable to be sent into that culture, we will become unable to reach those that don’t know Jesus.
- Each person already has a sphere of relationships that they simply need to engage as missionaries.
- Ultimately, Jesus, God, the Holy Spirit do the work of ‘saving someone.’ But we obey out of love to share the gospel with people that we know.
I’m excited about the precipice that each of us find ourselves on in this area of being “sent.” It’s time to stop talking about being sent and “go.”