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Tag: mission (page 1 of 21)

Your Mission Is Too Small

God blessed the nation of Israel in order to be a blessing to all other nations, but eventually, they refrained from sharing that salvation with others. After the work of Jesus in our lives, we are called to go outside the walls of the church to multiply as we make disciples and plant churches.

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The Next Person You Should Evangelize

Nothing strikes fear and guilt in the heart of a Christian like the topic of evangelism.

Many of us are fearful because the evangelists we highlight are people who have impressive amounts of knowledge and noteworthy stories of success.  When we feel inadequate, we can easily neglect evangelism altogether.

Three of the biggest misconceptions:

  1. Jesus called us to depend on professionals.  Pastors are not the only ones who should evangelize.  In fact, many people get defensive around pastors.  If you aren’t a professional minister, you have more open doors than pastors oftentimes do.
  2. Jesus called us to make converts.  The Great Commission calls us to make disciples (Matt. 28:19) – not converts.  When a person receives the gospel, they don’t cross the finish line but the starting line.  Jesus commanded us to disciple people and not just provide hell insurance and move on from there.
  3. Jesus called us to reach strangers.  If you study the progression of gospel advancement in the New Testament, you will see that most of it happened in the context of relationships.  While “cold-call” evangelism can be successful, that’s not the most predominant context of successful ministry.

Oscar Thompson taught others how to evangelize through Concentric Circles of Concern: Seven Stages for Making Disciples.  In his book, he spoke of 7 different circles to view evangelism:

  1. Yourself
  2. Family
  3. Relatives
  4. Friends
  5. Neighbors & Associates
  6. Acquaintances
  7. Person X

The premise was that you will probably have more opportunity with the people closest to you.  While you take advantage of the moments with “Person X” whom you may never see again, you should prioritize the people within your proximity.

Here’s another way to look at it – identify the nearest 5 people to you in the following areas.  Within that list, determine to investigate where each person stands with Christ.  Some of those people will be people you believe to have faith in Christ.  Some you will be unsure. Others you will be fairly confident, based upon the lack of spiritual fruit in their lives, that they are not Christians.

As you work through that list, you will determine the people with great spiritual need in near proximity to you.

Decide who you need to be intentional with in these 6 areas:

  1. In your home  Where is your family spiritually?
  2. In your group – Where are your closest friends spiritually?
  3. At your job – Where are your co-workers spiritually?
  4. On your street – Where are your neighbors spiritually?
  5. In your ministry – Where are your students spiritually?
  6. In your path – Where are your associates spiritually?

Make your list.  Get praying.  Get started.

Salt and Light

The Word

Salt and Light (Matt. 5:13-16)

As Jesus began his public ministry, he gathered disciples in order to teach them how to live for the Kingdom. As he once encouraged them to be salt and light, we are called to the same lifestyles as his followers.  

CONTEXT

  • Since we could not make it to God, God came to us in the person of Jesus.
  • Jesus called a group of disciples together in order to model and to multiply Kingdom living.
  • In the Sermon on the Mount, he articulated how a disciple’s beliefs should determine a disciple’s behavior.

CONTENT

  • Kingdom identity always precedes Kingdom activity.
  • SALT
    • As salt’s primary purpose was preservation, Christians’ presence is meant to preserve the earth from further sinful decay.
    • Salt cannot lose its saltiness, it simply loses its impact when it is contaminated with lesser things.
    • Followers who seek the role of popularity over preservation will eventually experience ruin.
  • LIGHT
    • As light’s primary purpose was illumination, Christian’s presence is meant to illuminate the world to the ways of God.
    • The greatest light coverage is always united, uplifted, and unfiltered.
    • If we shine our lights correctly, people will praise the One we illuminate rather than the ones illuminating.
  • Don’t contaminate the salt and don’t cover up the light.

CONCEPT

  • We are better together than when we are on our own.
  • We are unable to impact a world that is influencing us.
  • We are more effective for those on the inside when we prioritize those on the outside.

Pray, Give, and Go

We had the wonderful privilege to hear from a couple of missionaries tonight.  One is on a stateside furlough and another is preparing to launch out.  It is so important for them and for us to stay connected to what the Lord is doing overseas!

While not every person is called to live on mission overseas, all Christians are called to be in the missional reconciliation business (2 Cor. 5:20).

Here’s how we unpacked ways to be involved in the mission of Jesus:

  1. Pray.  If we truly believed in the power of prayer, we would realize that we are able to partner with missionaries all over the world.  More than just general prayers, get specific in how you pray for missionary partners and unreached people groups.
  2. Give.  We have a wonderful opportunity every week to give financially to the support of local and foreign missions.  Almost 10% of every dollar given to Rocky Creek goes to the Cooperative Program that supports missionaries all over the world (like the two we heard from tonight).  I can’t think of a better investment of our resources!
  3. Go.  Missionaries need mission partners.  They need people to come alongside their work for extra support and for further coverage.  Rocky Creek has many mission partners in which we send short-term mission teams.  Pray about if and when you should go!

On the Clock

On the Clock (Titus 2:9-10) – While we are on the clock vocationally, we are also on the clock missionally.  Even if your job isn’t in the ministry, you are in the ministry.
  • The concept of slavery in biblical times is extremely different from slavery in modern times.
    • Old Testament teaching regarding the positive treatment of slaves was countercultural at the time.
    • During the time of the New Testament, people were not bondservants due to ethnicity, literacy, or nationality.
    • From every type of socioeconomic class, people would volunteer to be a bondservant due to economic reasons.
    • While varying in degrees of comfort, many people enjoyed a beneficial situation due to slavery.
    • In the early church, bondservants were seen as equal to the financially free members.
  • The concept of slavery in biblical times is extremely different from vocations in modern times. 
    • While bondservants were not treated as severely then as in recent historical contexts, they were still possessions of their masters.
    • While your work situation may not be ideal, it is disrespectful to equate it with what others have experienced through slavery.
    • God called bondservants to suffer well in order to be missional even in their slavery.
    • By observing the extreme obedience expected of Christian bondservants, we should have no trouble displaying extreme obedience as Christian employees.

Expected Obedience for Bondservants

  • Submissive to their own masters in everything – To be free in Christ does not give a free pass for rebellion against God-given human authorities.
  • Well-pleasing – A Christian should attempt to be the most pleasing worker in order to gain a platform with the boss.
  • Not argumentative – Arguing with your authority minimizes your opportunity to speak up when it counts.
  • Not pilfering, but showing all good faith – A Christian should live with moral integrity so that he or she can be trusted with spiritual opportunities.
  • So that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior – The content of the message is validated by the character of the messenger.

Application

  • Another’s conversion must be deemed more important than my comfort.
  • What will I endure temporarily so that another doesn’t have to endure eternally?
  • While we are on the clock vocationally, we are also on the clock missionally.
  • Even if your job isn’t in the ministry, you are in the ministry.