Why we desire to be intensely missional…….

“The Spirit of Christ is the Spirit of missions….The nearer we get to Him the more intensely missional we become..”

(Henry Martyn, ‘Missionary’ to India)

I don’t like the word ‘mission’ or the term ‘missionary’. They suggest that what we are talking about  is something ‘out of the ordinary’ or ‘special’. In fact I hate the word ‘mission’ because of what it has grown to mean in the ‘Christian world’. We have grown up believing ‘mission’ was something we did for a year before we went to University or something we did for 3 weeks in Africa over the summer. It was something ‘special’ we did when we had some spare time on our hands.

The word ‘mission’ means ‘a task or duty that a person believes he or she must achieve’. Jesus has given us a task to achieve. It is not for 3 weeks in the summer – it is a lifelong task! We believe that Jesus has called us to a life of intense mission. We believe that Jesus has called us into a life of fulfilling the task He has given us.

What did Jesus tell His disciples to do?

Well the word disciple gives it away! Jesus taught his Disciples to follow Him and His teachings. Jesus ‘goal’ was to see people following Him (and then in His absence – the Holy Spirit). What did Jesus tell His disciples to do when He left them? Matthew records those words, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20)

The followers of Jesus were given the task or ‘mission’ of going into all the nations and making more followers of Jesus. Jesus did not tell them to go out and plant churches. Jesus did not tell them to go out and “do ministry”. He told them to go and help people know Jesus and obey Him.

These ‘Apostles’ or ‘sent ones’ went out and laid the foundations for the growth of the Kingdom of God in the nations. The whole thing was about the task that Jesus had given them. These followers had been taught by Jesus to follow Him every day and to be obedient to His words. They now went to the nations and passed this on to others. Every day was ‘mission’. Every new believer entered into this ‘mission’. And everything that happened when believers shared their lives together around the presence of Jesus amongst them (Church!) was in the context of this ‘mission’.

For the sake of the ‘mission’ of Jesus in the nations let’s find our way back to the ‘apostolic foundation’ we have built our organisations and structures on. The context for everything we do as followers of Jesus is the ‘mission’ of Jesus. Andy why did Jesus come….”This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners…”  (1 Timothy 1:15)

We are on a journey with Jesus and find ourselves in a new ‘playing field’. The boundaries in which we have our being are no longer the four walls of a church building. There are now no boundaries and the context for what we are doing is the nations and how we can share in the unfinished mission of Jesus.

Being ‘intensely missional’ is a commitment to follow Jesus every day and to be obedient to His word and His Spirit.

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