Have you ever wondered why it is so hard to get on mission for Jesus and stay on mission? For most of us, we are excited to say we are living missionally, we throw the vocabulary around because it sounds cool, but the actual practice of living missionally is difficult. Why is it hard to live missionally? How we can actually get started and sustain our mission?
How Can we GET on Mission and STAY on Mission?
If we want ourselves and our people to be on mission for Christ, our affection for Christ must be the dominating affection of our hearts. If something else is the dominating affection, such as acceptance, status, or materialism, then mission will not be fully realized, and it is probably not going to start. Living on mission and staying on mission is a heart issue. It is not a program or strategy issue, which means we must attack a lack of mission at the heart level.
How can we increase Our affections for Jesus?
(1) We must have an unwavering commitment to understanding the Gospel in a greater way.
We have to be willing to make a commitment to understanding how every aspect of our life is affected by the gospel, and how every aspect of our life can be a gospel moment. Here is what I mean. Our life is a gospel moment when others witness the radical change Christ has performed in our lives. For instance, when a Christian’s view of sex, money, and power is radically different than our cultures, the gospel’s power to transform our life is demonstrated, not only to the world, but to ourselves. But that gospel change won’t result unless we commit to understanding the gospel in a greater way. An understanding that should result in our affections for Jesus changing as we recognize how wicked and depraved we really are and how great Jesus’ salvation really is.
(2) We must be willing to fail.
In our willingness to fail, we show we realize we are not the ones who expand the kingdom; rather, it is the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit who expand the kingdom. As we depend on God, see Him sustain us, and even use us to expand His kingdom, our affection for Him should increase and stimulate us to further mission.
(3) The travailing of our souls should cause us to pray.
As we face the laborious task of mission, our soul will inevitably groan with pain, because, let’s be honest, being on mission is hard, much harder than we might have first thought. The difficulties of mission should drive us to pray more often and more fervently. Prayer creates intimacy with Jesus and that intimacy should increase our affections for Jesus.
(4) Become an expert in proclaiming Jesus.
We become an expert on proclaiming Jesus by studying Scripture. As we study Scripture, we should gain a deeper understanding of who Jesus is and that should increase our affections for Him.
Changing the affections of our heart is key to getting on and staying on mission, which we are able to influence by committing to understand the gospel more deeply, be willing to fail, praying, and becoming an expert in proclaiming Jesus’ message through the study of Jesus’ Word. Doing these things should change our heart’s affections and drive us to mission, one that is more joyful and sustainable.
This post was developed from Tyler Jones’ sermon “The Church Planters Mission,” which you can find on iTunes under the Acts29 Network Podcast, or by clicking here (Note: it will be the one initially highlighted in light grey).
A great article on the subject of evangelism is Brent Nelson’s article Woe to Me if I don’t Evangelize