Thursday, January 17, 2013

Our Responsibility in Mission

Read John 1:14.

At its best mission might be a work of mercy, but not of pity. Mission is not meant to be a hand out from upper class to lower class. It is certainly not to be a demeaning act that cultivates an unnecessary dependency similar to a toxic charity. Rather, this is a way of life that, in both word and deed, seeks to love God and love neighbor with our whole heart, mind, and life.

Nor is mission just a calling of a select few in the church who have the time, talent, or disposition. Instead, missional living is a way of following the incarnational model of Christ which emphasizes a life following God the Father and dependent upon the Spirit. Such a life expresses habits of worship, prayer, study, fellowship, evangelism, and mission as reflections of the glory of God made known in practical ways today.

Darrell Gruder says:

“We have come to see that mission is not merely an activity of the church. Rather mission is the result of God’s initiative, rooted in God’s purposes to restore and heal creation. Mission means ‘sending,’ and it is the central biblical theme describing the purposes of God’s action in human history. God’s mission began with the calling of Israel to receive God’s blessings in order to be a blessing to the nations. God’s mission unfolded in the history of God’s people across the centuries recorded in Scripture, and it reached its revelatory climax in the incarnation of God’s work of salvation in Jesus ministering, crucified, and resurrected… It continues today in the worldwide witness of churches in every culture to the gospel of Jesus Christ.” Quoted in The Forgotten Ways, by Alan Hirsch, pl. 129.

"This generation of Christians is responsible for this generation of souls on the earth!" — Keith Green, Christian musician of the 1970's-early 80's.

Charles Wesley often penned the words of Methodist theology in ways that had power for worship and discipleship.  He wrote “A Charge to Keep I Have” in 1762 with basis in Leviticus 8:35.

1.  A charge to keep I have, a God to glorify, a never-dying soul to save, and fit it for the sky.

2.  To serve the present age, my calling to fulfill; O may it all my powers engage to do my Master's will!

Ask yourself: How have I misunderstood mission in the past? Do I need to further develop my understanding or gifts to be more effective for God? How can I practically reach our community and world, with the gifts God has given me, as God sends me to work?

Pray for those who are served and those who serve at GAP Ministries. This was previously a Presbyterian effort, but it’s now become an ecumenical effort to meet needs, express compassion, and create community in our Augusta inner city.

Learn more: GAP

Don't miss out!  Claim your place in the work day or in a mission seminar at

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this lesson with us. I especially appreciated the Wesley text.