Life on Mission

On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 1

Consider what disciples were experiencing at this moment. Jesus unexpectedly returned. They thought they lost their leader and the Jewish leaders would be coming for them at any moment. To their surprise, Jesus shows up instead of the Jewish leaders. The surprise doesn’t end there, though. Continue reading

Overcoming the Obstacle of Formation vs. Mission

Photo Credit: navonod via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: navonod via Compfight cc

It seems a bit strange to say that spiritual formation would be an obstacle to living out our mission as followers of Jesus, but there are two extreme ways that it can hurt the life of mission to which we have been called.

One extreme is to neglect formation for the sake of mission. Living for God and living out his commands are extremely important, but sometimes we make mission more important than everything else. We emphasize living on God’s mission that we fail to spend time with the one for whom we are living. Neglecting formation for the sake of mission can lead to two dangerous things. First, we can burn ourselves out for the sake of Christ. We try to so hard to follow Him, that we take little time to be with Him, to rest, and to take care of ourselves. Our ability to live as followers of Jesus means that we spend time with Jesus. This helps us to grow and to stay focused on Him. Second, this can lead to losing focus on Jesus. Either the mission will become so important that it becomes more important than Christ, or our mission will become self-guide or even self-serving because we don’t know the one calls us to follow Him. We begin to follow our own mission and not the one that Jesus calls us too. This is tragic because we get caught up so much in the mission that we neglect Jesus. Jesus paints a scary picture of what this looks like in Matthew 7:22-23 when he says, “Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’” 1 Our life on mission needs to be under girded by spiritual formation. Continue reading

Coming to see Ourselves as Sent

71uf76aVwrLOriginally published on Englewood Review of Books.

A Review of Sentness: Six Postures of Missional Christians

Kim Hammond and Darren

Paperback: IVP Books, 2014
Buy now: [ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]

While there are many different ways to do church, there are two postures are that are competing for dominancy in the Church today. In their new book Sentness, Kim Hammond and Darren Cronshaw identify these two postures as, “a church of consumers, demanding goods and services, and a church of missionaries, sent and sending into the world” (11). It’s not hard to guess from the title of the book the posture that they believe the church should adopt. continue reading

People of Peace

I’ve been writing a lot about speaking about Jesus and being an ambassador for Christ. This is something that can be extremely intimidating. What I’ve been learning recently is that it doesn’t have to be.

When most of us think of evangelism we probably think about walking up to strangers and saying, “Hey, do you know about Jesus?” or “Do you know what would happen to you if you die tonight?” While this is challenging to people and can produce results in the right environment, I know from experience that more often then not this doesn’t result in very much. Sharing the gospel is more effective when done in relationships and done over time. Again this sounds intimidating. It involves going out and developing a relationship with someone new. While we think that this may be difficult, you probably actually already know someone and have a relationship with someone that would be willing to listen. continue reading

Sent to the World

A few weeks ago, I wrote about how we are called to be ambassadors for Christ. We are to carry out His mission of reconciliation that brought us to faith in Christ. When we become followers of Jesus, we are sent on a mission. We are sent on the same mission that Jesus was sent. Jesus tells his disciples, “As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you” (John 20:21). Likewise, Paul writes to the Corinthians that God reconciled us to Himself and, “he has committed to us the message of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:19).

So now we live out the mission that God has given us. This is not something reserved for “missionaries” or “ministers,” but instead this is something for all believers. We are all missionaries and ministers, though not by vocation.

Photo Credit: aluedt via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: aluedt via Compfight cc

I think that it’s easy for us to recognize that we are on a mission and that the church has a mission. Jesus came to save the world and we attest to that because we have been saved. Then after salvation, we cheer on the church and stand for its mission, but fail to live out the mission ourselves. It’s like being drafted to play for a pro sports team, but you attend every game as a fan. You were called to be an active participant in the team, but instead sit back watch the action.
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