Have you ever wondered why it is so hard to get on Mission for God 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 non-existent, or very difficult. Today I want to provide you with the reason it is hard to live missionally, and how we can actually get started and sustain our mission.
How to GET on Mission and STAY on Mission
In order for us to get on mission and stay on mission, a greater more powerful affection must come into our heart. That greater more powerful affection must be an affection for Christ. 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 may not even start. This means being on mission is a heart issue, rather than a program or strategy issue and must be attacked at the proper level if it is to be successful.
How to Increase Our Affections for Jesus:
(1) We must have an unwavering commitment to understand the Gospel in a greater way.
Meaning we cannot be afraid to say we do not understand the Gospel the way we should. We have to be willing to make a commitment to understand how every aspect of our life is affected by the Gospel, and how every aspect of our life can be a Gospel moment by witnessing to the world the radical change Christ has done in our lives. For instance, a Christians view of sex, money, and power should be radically different than our cultures because the Gospel has deeply affected every aspect of our lives.
(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 our affection for Him increases because we realize he is the one who sustains and provides for us in our 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 our mission in our own strength is much harder than we first thought. As a result, we should be driven to pray more fervently and more often. As we do our affections for Jesus will grow because our relationship with Him is growing more intimate through our time of prayer.
(4) Become an expert on proclaiming Jesus.
We become an expert on proclaiming Jesus by studying Scripture. As we study Scripture, our affections for Jesus will increase because we will gain a deeper understanding of His mission and sacrifice for us – sinful man, who deserves nothing but death.
If we want to get on mission, we have to change the affections of our heart. Ultimately, our lack of mission is not due to inadequate programs or strategies, it is due to our heart desiring something other than to see Jesus glorified. We need to examine our hearts for the idols present, realizing that our acceptance, status, or happiness, among other things, is secure in Christ.
After rooting out the idols in our lives, we can seek to increase our affections for Christ by (1) making a commitment to understand the Gospel more deeply, (2) be willing to fail because we trust in God for growth, (3) pray more fervently, especially, but not limited to, times when our souls are in pain because our mission is laborious, and (4) become an expert in proclaiming Jesus’ message through the study of His Word.
If we do the things mentioned here, our Mission will be joyful and sustainable because it stems out of our affections for Christ, not a program or strategy we are forcing on ourselves.
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