This Sunday, we began a brand new series about living with a mission. This week's message started with a question: am I a missionary? Here's what Kyle had to say:
Am I a missionary?
Short answer? No, not in the traditional sense. Missionaries are those who are both called by God and sent by the church for a specific purpose in sharing the gospel. But while we may not share the specific calling that traditional, capital-M-Missionaries have, we are all called to mission.
Why has the church lost its sense of mission?
Two shifts in the 20th century have led to the mindset on the part of many that mission work is best left to "the professionals." First was a shift in church culture in which church was seen as a building and institution, rather than a body of people. As a result "official" church work was left to the official ministerial staff, and the average Joe stuck with his work during the week, confining "church" activities to Sunday morning. The second shift was the consumerist attitude of our culture, which, over time, seeped into the way people viewed church. Instead of looking to give of themselves, church-goers with a consumer mindset just wanted to get as much as they could out of their tithe dollar. The consumer mindset contributed to the sacred-secular split of modern culture.
How can the church regain her mission?
The first step to recovering a life of mission is for each member to joyfully pursue a deep relationship with God. If we taste and see that God is good, we'll naturally want to share Him with others! And how do we share with others? No special training or perfect language is required. Instead, we should take as our model the blind man that Jesus healed in John chapter 9. When questioned about the healing, the blind man didn't have a theological treatise prepared; he wasn't even sure whether or not Jesus was a sinner. What he did know was his own story of healing: "One thing I do know -- I was blind, but now I see." We can begin to fulfill our call to mission by sharing the stories of how God has worked in our own lives.
How does our mission relate to our normal lives?
Being on mission shouldn't mean extra work for us; it should simply mean that we live our beliefs. Jesus's mission was to seek and save the lost. By integrating the gospel into our daily lives, we can begin to show and tell what Christ has done for us.
Next week, we'll talk about the first step in the process of fulfilling our calling. In the meantime, here are a few questions.
Questions to consider
- Do I need to adjust my attitude regarding "church" work and "non-church" work? Is there some aspect of ministry that I've been "leaving to the professionals" when I should really be doing that work?
- How's my relationship with Christ? Does my love for Him compel me to share Him?
- How can I share my faith story with others in the course of my daily life?
- How can I live out my beliefs in practical ways in order to both show and tell the gospel?
Listen to the whole sermon here, and join us next week for part two.