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Mission Tag

time 

Take this quick quiz . . .

How much time did you spend this past week:

  • Watching  TV shows and movies?
  • Playing video games?
  • Watching sports on TV or at a game?
  • Surfing the Internet, or hanging out on Facebook?
  • Have conversations about meaningless worldly things?

Add all those hours up______:

Now how much time did you spend:

  • Reading, studying and meditating on the word of God?
  • Praying?
  • Worshiping God?
  • In community and fellowship with other believers? (and I do not mean just setting in same pew)
  • Going into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Mat 16:15
  • Going and making disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit teaching them to observe all that Jesus has commanded you. Mat 28:19-20
  • Fulfilling Matthew 25:31-46………
  • Feeding the hungry?
  • Giving drink to the thirsty?
  • Taking in a stranger?
  • Clothing the naked?
  • Visiting the sick?
  • Visiting those in prison?
  • Visiting orphans and widows in their affliction? James 1:27
  • Delivering the poor who cried for help, and the fatherless who had none to help him? Job 29:12 

Add all those hours up______:

If our total hours is larger on the first than the second, then our lives are out of sync with Jesus, with His calling for every follower of Him, and things must change. All the things on the second list are the things Jesus said if you love Him you will be found doing, daily. All those things are what the life of a true follower of Christ should looks like, what it means to truly imitate the life of Christ. The difference between confessing who Christ is and truly being a follower of Christ.

It is time to reevaluate our lives and what we spend our time doing. Is it following Christ, obeying His commands, living for Christ or our selves and our own pleasures, just like the rest of the world? Is our life being spent to reach the lost, spread the gospel, make disciples, heal the sick, take care of the needy, orphans & widows, or it to obtain and maintain the American dream, be rich, happy and comfortable?

Visit The Underground Church in China

Why? To see and experience the biblical church model shown us in the book of Act’s. See the real deal, church like you have never have seen, encounter Christianity as close to the time of Christ you will find on earth.

It will change how you understand and define what church is and what happens when the body meets, taste the church you read about in Act’s and see that it can be done today, need to be done today.

And I do not mean the public government sanctioned church meetings, I mean the underground church, your life is at stake if you get caught church. The one people go to prison for being part of, the one you could be killed for pastoring or hosting one. Every Christian should go and spend 3 to 4 weeks in one , really getting a taste for the life, the church. The one that is changing the face of a nation, creating more true followers of Christ than any other place on earth.

This will give you a new compass for your life, for how to have church, everyone I know who has been, came back a different person, could not return to church the way it is done in America.

We must think of everyday activities of our life through the lenses of Gospel, Community, and Mission. Seek to live in such a way to apply these three elements to every aspect of our lives.

The gospel must be and is most effectively proven by it being lived out in everyday life, its effects on us lived out. Community life cannot be simply restricted to a Sunday morning service and/or a mid-week gathering. It must extend radically beyond these events to accomplish all the “one another passages” and what we see in passages like Acts 2:42-48, just as it is true that evangelism (mission) cannot be accomplished through programs nor by only a hand full of “professional evangelist”. Our missionary methods must expand into the ordinary everyday activities of our lives if we are to follow the scriptural models we read of, and Jesus’ life example. We must purposely form our everyday lives around the gospel and Christ. We’ve must move away from the program-based way of “doing” the Christian life, and doing church, move to a more ordinary, real and organic everyday way of life.

Begin by looking at all your daily ordinary activities through a tri-fold lens of community, mission, and gospel, things like going out to dinner, grocery shopping, going to the mall, taking the kids to the park. You want to seek out how you can take these activities and infuse each of these three elements.

Lets take going out to dinner, to add the community element you invite a Christian friend, someone from your church gathering. The gospel element can be added in a natural but intentional way as you converse throughout dinner, by partaking in the breaking of bread and the cup of the new covenant. Community is achieved by the very nature of coming together and have a meal together, you intentional engage in the one another’s of Christian fellowship. The mission element is accomplished by your intent of being there with a mission purpose, to reach, take the gospel to the world around you. By engaging your servers and possible those around you with the gospel.

Lets change up the situation a little: To add the mission element to your dinning out would be to invite a non-Christian friend, neighbor or co-worker to join you and your Christian friends. The community element is added in by both having community with the Christian as well as the non-Christian friends, but also the non-Christian getting to experience first hand real Christian community happening before them between you and your Christian friends. Allowing them to see a glimpse of the Kingdom life lived out by you. The gospel element can be added in again in a natural way as you converse throughout dinner. By you and the believers partaking in the breaking of bread and taking the cup, and explaining what is happening and why, and how this effects you life and who you are. And by them hearing how God and the gospel effects and directs your daily lives. And of course the mission element is also accomplished by the fact you are proclaiming the gospel through natural conversation and community with the intent to expand the kingdom by making disciples. And you still add in the active mission element of reaching out the your servers and others around you.

See how easily this way of living where we think of everyday activities through the lenses of Gospel, Community, and Mission, can be applied to basically every activity of everyday life, everything we do. Perhaps the element of community cannot be always applied to every situation but the gospel and mission can be applied to every thing we do in life.

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.