Asking the Right Question about Mission

Matthew 28:19 [fullscreen]

Last week, I talked about asking the right question about discipleship. This week I want to talk about mission. There are a lot of things that we ask about getting involved at church and getting involved in our communities and I’m not sure we’re always asking the best questions. If we’re trying to get involved we are usually asking good questions, but I want all of us to ask the best questions possible so that we can get involved in the best way possible.

One of the phrases that I hear a lot is “plugged in,” as in “How can I get plugged in at church?” Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a bad thing to say, but is it the best question to ask? It’s good to get connected to the church and it’s ministries, but getting plugged in only half the question. If we are concerned with finding the mission that God has for us.

God has called all of us to a mission. In it’s most basic the mission is to go and make disciples, but on top of that we all have a place in the body of Christ. In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul tells us that we are all members of the body and all have different gifts. We also need one another to accomplish the mission that has been given to us. In Romans Paul says it this way, “For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us.” [1]

Instead of asking simply how can we get plugged in, we need to be asking ourselves and others how are we gifted and what are we passionate about. God has called each of us to the same mission, but have given each of us different functions. I went through my own process of discovery in college and seminary as I tried to figured out where I would find my place in ministry within the church. I started in youth ministry, but through trial and error ended up in adult discipleship ministry. There’s nothing wrong with youth ministry, I still love teaching students, but it wasn’t the best fit for me. We all have a particular set of skills and gifts given to us by God that when combined with our passions and experiences will help us live out God’s mission for us in the best way.

The better questions to ask is where our gifts and abilities can best be used. Sometimes we simply need to do what needs to be done, but many times we can make a bigger impact by putting our gifts to use. “In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.” [2]

How has God gifted you? How can you use those gifts in the best way possible?

[1] The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Ro 12:4–6.
[2] Tyndale House Publishers, Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2013), Ro 12:6–8.

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