I’ve been thinking a lot about missions lately. Most of it has been fueled by our “Joy to the World” Sunday where some of our young adults went into the community to serve, our group’s partnerships with Habitat for Humanity in community renovation,with the Dodgens in providing shower and laundry facilities for the homeless, and with the El Dorado Motel’s church service. That’s a lot but it represents something that serves the good of the city while keeping Christ central!
In light of how missions is positioned (central to God’s heart and one of the underlying narratives throughout the Scriptures) then how do we relate to the Great Commission?
First, we are to live intentional lives of mission representing our Master wherever we go… from our neighborhood to our place of employment to places of poverty to places around the world where the good news can be proclaimed. The mission of God’s people has always been to bless others because we are blessed. We follow the Great Commission because it leads us to more opportunities to express the Great Commandments – to love God and our neighbor! To hoard the blessing and not live missionally or to entrust mission to the “professionals” is destructive not only to our lives but to the church.
Second, maybe more counts for mission than we think. That’s not to say that we need to stop sending people on traditional missions trips. Those trips have incalculable value! What if seeking the shalom of the city (Jeremiah 29:7) meant there is a redemptive element planted in our neighborhoods? What if we began to see vocation (and everyone has at least one) as, in part, missional. I used to put it like this to college students: Your degree is not for your comfort and a way for you to eke out a living. Your college degree, in part, is a ticket to mission field that I can never go. You get to go to a group of people and before them you get to live out a robust picture of work, you get to serve the common good of your neighbor, and you get to talk to them about Christ!
What I’m mulling around in my mind is how overseas missions and missions “here” (for lack of a better way to describe it although I don’t like separating the two), fit together. What if the they fed each other? What if our relentless pursuit of redemption in the city as we prayed for the city and acted in the city, led to a greater hunger to go where worship of one True God currently doesn’t exist? What if going overseas on a missions trip fed the desire to actually be a part of something great happening here in the city? What if it led to people living out the Jesus kind of life and speaking to people unashamedly about Him?
I’dl love people’s thoughts on this! Fire away if you have comments!