Mission

Christians need to see the Church differentlysee them selves for who they really are to be, disciples called out to do the mission of God. We are called to be imitators of God, imitators of Jesus and the life He lived, therefore we are to be on the same mission as Jesus who was on the mission of God. His mission is to be our mission, Jesus said as the father sent Me I am sending you. Instead of seeing the church as a recipient of God’s benefits, God as the facilitator of the American dream for us. Church is not to be a gathering of pew setters, something we “go to” and have put on for us, our focus should be to be more like Jesus, a missional people, on us Going to the world.

A lot of people debate the term “Missional” and “Missional Church”, being Missional.. And that I do not understand, missional simply means on mission, or on a mission which ever you prefer. Missional is not a program, a movement or even a mythology. It is both a command and a way of life, way of living, and for someone to say the church is not to be missional, is in essence calling Jesus a liar.

We read in Mat 28:19-20 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you.” Here Jesus is sending His people, the church into the world with a mission to fulfill. We are to make disciples, baptize them and then teach them the word. There it is our mission, the life we are to live, the calling, purpose of our life in Christ. It was at that point the church was commanded to be Missional. Jesus gave His church mission, these marching orders just before His ascended to the Father.

Then just a short time later Jesus returns and tells His disciples Acts 1: 8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” In today’s time this would read, be my witnesses in your city, your state and your country, and to the end of the earth.

So why do so many not understand this command of Jesus, the mission given to the Church? He could not have made it any clearer. Not only did the early church understand the mission, they focused on living out that mission their entire lives. That is the first characteristic we see in the first churches, they where missional, they where on mission, and no matter what anyone says, that was not something for them back then, but Not for us today, that is a deception of Satan.

Christians should not have to debate why be missional, it should be enough that Jesus said GO into your neighborhood, city, state and the entire world. What more do we need to know other than our Lord said GO, said make disciples, said baptize, said teach the word, that should be all we need to know, GO! And Do!

There it is our personal mission, the church is to be on mission, live on mission, the church is on mission, mission is not a department, a program, it is a way of life, a way of being. The answer to why be missional? Jesus said to!

Every Church should have the mindset that they are on a mission today, on Missio Dei, God’s mission. That they are to Go! That they are sent into the world!

The second church that has it right that, that is following the lead of Pastor Francis Chan is a church gathering called Element in Nashville, TN. Their pastor Jared Wilson after hearing the story of Cornerstone Community Church in Simi Valley, California, see yesterdays blog. Pastor Wilson saidit grabbed my heart and wouldn’t let go. I couldn’t stop thinking about it and dreaming it. I was thinking about the ministry buzzword “missional,” and I began to think that, while Element has already been operating and teaching as such that “missional” is not just empty sloganeering for us, it could and should mean more.

So he went to his board and got them to voted to do the same, so Element will designate minimum 50% of its budget to missions, and 10% to church planting or to other gospel-driven ministries. This means that for every dollar we receive, 60 cents will go back out the door. Our operating budget will be 40% of our offerings.

Pastor Jared Wilson stated that We will give to both foreign and local missions, but more will go to local missions, because our idea is not just to write a check (or checks) and wipe our hands of it, but to be giving regularly to local mission agencies that we can actually visit, partner with, and do on-site service projects with.

Here’s what gets me: Jesus said to his followers that whatever they do to the “least of these,” they are doing to him. This means it’s not some nameless, faceless people out there who are shivering and starving and dying. It means it’s Jesus who is shivering and starving and dying. And while it shouldn’t matter if someone is nameless or faceless, while not seeing someone shouldn’t dissuade us from action, we are seeing this as a great way to bless Jesus, to worship Jesus.

Amen, see how one revolutionary can start a fire, as everyone knows California is being ravaged buy wild fires right now. And it is there that God has started a wild fire in one man, one church that has now leaped, like wild fires are know to do, clear across to Nashville. May this spread like the California wild fires through the church all across America, and go up to90% going to God, by giving it to the hurting, poor, starving, dying and missions and only 10% or less to building and salaries, Jesus said when you give to one of them you are giving to Him. Amen!

The United Nations estimates that the cost to end world hunger completely, along with diseases related to hunger and poverty, is about $195 billion a year. And that if the Church in America gave just 50% of its income to fight poverty it would bring an end to poverty, no one would go hungry.

The number one criticism of God is why does He allow poverty, starving children, that a lot of people refuse to accept God on that issue alone, they blame God for it, for not doing something. When the truth is God did do something, He commissioned, commanded His people, His church to do something about it, gave His people, the church the resources to do something, but they have chosen not to, to disobey Him. To spend the money on fancy building, programs and salaried staff.

How much the church would be a living, tangible expression of the love, compassion and mercy of God if they did what He said to do, and that is exactly what it is to be? No one could accuse God of being unloving or uncaring. The church would be the light to the world it is called to be, be the interment of Restoration, Renewal, Reconciliation and Redemption to our world that it is to be, reflect who God is to the world.

May a thousand churches follow Cornerstone and Element this year and more the next tell every church does as they are.

I blogged back in December about churches not giving the money they take from their members to God, giving only on average less than 3% to God,that they instead spend 97% of it on buildings, salaries and other worldly things. They do not use it for what God said, how we are to give to Him, by giving to the needy, poor, orphans, widows and starving, and as we read in the book of Acts, that no one in the church was in need because they took care of each other.

I just read about two churches that have it right, are doing it the way God said to. One of them is Cornerstone Community Church in Simi Valley, California.

Around nine months ago Cornerstone Community Church when the church was set to spend $20 million on a new facility the pastor Francis Chan said, “No” He said he could not in good conscience be the pastor of a church that spent $20 million on a building. Instead He suggested that they build a much, much cheaper facility, an outdoor amphitheater and community park. And the multi-millions left over? He said they should give it away. His board agreed. Apparently several hundred people left the church, because they where so outraged by this decision. Which I think goes to show that a lot of people give only to reap the benefits to themselves, amenities they can enjoy, you know a Starbuck in the lobby and cushy pews with cup holders and elaborate sound systems, the biggest building in the city. But Chan and his fellow ministers committed to giving away millions and millions of dollars. Chan said that one great benefit of the outdoor space is that whenever it was too hot/cold/rainy/windy, it would remind those gathered that there were many people around the world who never have a roof over their head.

So Cornerstone Church amended their budget to now give 50% to missions. Half of everything they receive goes right back out the door to the hurting, poor, starving, and dying. They even made an additional pledge to give $1 million to the Children’s Hunger Fund over the next year and they made that mark in April, in less than a year. And have committed to give as much every year.

Amen and praise God, a church that has it right, that has read the bible and is doing what Jesus said to, how God said to give to Him.

I applaud pastor Chan and his staff and the people of that gathering of the church, and there is so much more to this church, more to talk about later. Take note pastors, take note body of Christ, behold a real church that is doing it right. Tomorrow on the other church that has followed Chan lead after hearing his story. Read part two.