Missional Tag

82011

Unless we make a shift in our thinking, many Christians will continue to look at missions as a sub-division of the church, or as a special “calling” for a “special group of people”. I spent three years on “the mission field”, I went to “be missionary” with YWAM. While I was in YWAM, I did not think much about doing “missions,” since I lived my daily life focused on what God wanted me to do. I did not start my day focused on being a missionary, but rather doing the task set before me that God had given our mission base to do. My everyday routine was doing work for God and for the Kingdom of God. And set out to look for and take advantage of every opportunity that came my way to preach the gospel, rescue a child off the streets, out of prostitution, out of drugs. Counsel someone hurting. Distribute food to those in need. Hold a bible study. Pray for someone. It was just life, normal everyday life with God for Christ for me.

Missions should be just that, being part of God’s plan, just a normal everyday way of living. He desires each and every person to be involved in His mission. What is God’s mission?

The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me
To preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed
; ” Luke 4:18

and “For the son of man came to seek and save that which was lost” (Luke 10:19). That’s why He came and that’s what He wants each of us to be a part of. Jesus told us to do the same thing, to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel” (Mark 16:15). We are also told to “make disciples of all nations” (Matt 28:19).

And I set out to do all of that every single day in YWAM, that was my daily to do list, and it still should be today.

How do I disciple a nation, one person at a time if need be. I do not know if I will ever preach the gospel to an entire nation (I sure want to), but I can preach the gospel to a neighbor, a waitress, a store clerk or a co-worker, a room full of people or even crowed street corner.

So what is missions? It is personally being involved in what is on God’s heart: seeking and saving that which is lost. And that is a full time job, a title we all can put on our card, resumes. Every one who claims to be a Christian is to be a missionary, full time missionary.

11-21-10

I was reminded today of the words of Jesus “I am with you always, to the end of the age.” that is so often quoted. But if you read the entire verse, and the two before it, that are the complete statement of Jesus. I think we might just learn that His statement “I am with you always, to the end of the age.” does not mean what everyone thinks it does.

And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make 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 I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Mat 28:17-20

His words I am with you always seem to be linked to going, doing all the tings He mentions before those those famous words, that is what is known as the great commission. (more…)

6-2910Question that most people ask themselves is “What do I want to do with my life?” “What is my purpose?” “What is God’s will for my life?”, some of us seem to be asking that question year after year. It seems like the majority of people I talk with are seeking the answer to some form of those questions.

I think most of the time we answer those questions ether tied to the past, if I would have…I would be doing this… having this life. If only I would have done…….. I could be doing…! Or we make it futuristic, well if this happens….when I get……I will have the life I want. If God will……….then I will……….! If God would just speak! So until then we stand there like deer in headlight, dead in our tracks.

I read something today that opened my eyes, give me a possible answer, or at lest something to think about. “Just start creating life/purpose right now, right where you are with what you have and know, our life can only happen in the present moment, not tomorrow or in the next month”.

Maybe shifting our focus from thinking about what we don’t know to what we do know, that will enable us to real purpose right now and answer our questions above.

Having said that, in the specific question, “What is God’s will for me?” So many people do no ministry because they are waiting to find out God’s will.

The best way to know God’s will, is by doing what you know to do, so start doing what God has already told every follower of Christ is His will for your life, the calling of every follower is in scripture.

Like start with Mark 16:15, “And He said unto them, Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” So start today, right now sharing the gospel, with whom, with everyone you meet during the day, there is your answer. You do not need to wait for anything more, no sign from above, no training needed, because Jesus said He would give you what to say even, Mark 13:11.

More of God’s will for you…… Matthew 28:16-20, start making disciples, so start discipling someone, find someone to pour your life into, the life of Christ into. Start teaching the word of God to others, start with your family if you are married.

Next, starting doing Matthew 25:31-46 today, go feed the hungry, give a drink to the thirsty, cloth the naked, visit and pray for the sick, take in a stranger in need. That is a full day, full day of purpose right there, and those are God’s will for you, your life.

Putting everything together

  1. Preach the Gospel to everyone you meet daily.
  2. Be discipling others.
  3. Be teaching the word of God to others.
  4. Be feeding the hungry.
  5. Giving drink, water to the thirsty.
  6. Clothing the naked.
  7. visiting and praying for the sick.
  8. Take in a stranger in need.

By the way living like that is also being missional.

Mother Teresa said “If you can’t feed a hundred people, feed just one.” and all of us can do that, if only that.

So if you are looking for the answer to “What do I want to do with my life” “What is God’s will for my life”, the above just might be the answer, the place to start anyway. Something to think about anyway.

4-20-10I was saddened to learn on Monday as I listen to Francis Chan message from Sunday that he was leaving his church. But only saddened for selfish reasons, Francis is my favorite pastor today and look forward to his podcast every week. I was not surprised at his leaving, because I could tell it was coming, he had been restless in the Lord for about a year now. I was obvious the Lord was prepping him, calling him to move on to a new work.

He will finish out the next two months at his church, then he will leave to go to Asia to serve in ministry, then return to the US to start a new church, most likely he said LA, but still waiting for the Lord to confirm the ware. He is just simply steeping out in faith and take one step at a time as the Lord leads.

He said, “I’m not called to be an awesome mega church pastor, but am called to be a picture of Christ.” He takes inspiration from the story of Vaughan, a youth pastor whose trips to impoverished villages are described by youth as “the closest thing I’ve every experienced to walking with Jesus”. He realized, “my life does not look like Jesus. I can rationalize and justify it, but…”

Chan was a convicting speaker, not least because he was actively living out his message. He is sacrificing the fame, fortune and safety of suburban mega church ministry to follow Jesus. He “wants to go back” to a childlike faith. “If I read the Bible for the first time, I would never conclude I needed to pray some prayer, but I would conclude I need to follow Jesus. If I read the Bible on a desert island, I’d never decide I needed to start a Sunday service, my priority would be discipleship.

In his message to his church announcing his leaving he invited everyone there and hearing his message to join him. Not to come with him into his new calling, but to live a life of faith. To seek out what the Lord would have them do and join the Holy Spirit in the work He has from them. To go on the great adventure with the Holy Spirit, join Jesus in what He is doing.

Here is a video interview with him about it:

Francis Chan is stepping out in faith… from Catalyst on Vimeo.

You can download his message to his church here:

It is message on 4-18-10 – Francis Chan – Surrender

041210I listen to a reading of a sermon preached by C H Spurgeon from April 27, 1856, over a 150 years ago called ‘Gospel Missions’, in today church lingo it could have been called ‘Gospel Centered Church’ or ‘Missional Church’. It could have, it should be given in the church today. Here we have a sermon on what is at the heart of being a missional church given 150 years ago.

Amazingly Spurgeon hits the key points about what the church is lacking today.


Things he says is missing in the church:

First, We have not apostolic men.
Second, They do not set about their work in an apostolic style.
Third, We do not have apostolic churches.
Fourth, We have not the apostolic influence of the Holy Spirit in the measure that the first church had.

“We have few Apostolic men in these times, preachers of God’s truth.”

“We have not men with Apostolic zeal like Paul, His zeal was so earnest, and so burning. Whether he did eat, or drink, or whatsoever he did, he did all for the glory of his God; he never wasted an hour.”

He went on to say:

“We lack men filled with the Holy Spirit of fire, we have not men with apostolic zeal. Men like Paul who preached the word everywhere, who say “Wow unto me if I preach not the gospel.” You had a convection when you saw him, that he was a man who felt he had a work to do. And must do it and could not contain himself unless he did do it.”

“Oh! if you could have seen Paul preach you would not have gone away as you do today with half a convection that we (pastors) do not mean what we say. I seldom hear a solitary sermon that comes up to the mark in earnest deep passionate longing for the souls of men.”

I gave a big AMEN to all that, and I really loved this:

“Oh had you seen an apostolic church, what a different thing it would have appeared to one of our churches. As different as light and dark. Where is our prayerfulness? Oh, if we prayed as deeply and as earnestly as they did we would have as much success. They broke bread from house to house, they ate their meat with singleness of heart giving glory to God. There was not a member of the church who was half hearted. They gave their heart solely to God.”

Just a few quotes from the sermon, all pastors, all Christians should hear this sermon, it will fire you up if their is even a smoldering amber of the Holy Spirit in you.

Download the sermon here (mp3 22.4 mb).

341A great example of living missional I know of is Jaeson Ma, a pastor at large in LA. He lives his life on mission, he does what others talk and blog about doing. He is living out the mission of Jesus.

Every day Jaeson does acts of love for stranger and people he knows alike. Things like buys a meal for a homeless person, pay for a motel room for them. Buys a tank of gas for some in need. He prays for the sick, blind and deaf, and they are healed. Gives clothing to the needy. And with everyone of them he shares the gospel. He feeds the hungry, cloths the naked, take in the stranger, give sight to the blind.

Every day he shares the gospel with others, on the streets, in a restaurant, or from the stage of an event. Last year he was part of an out reach in Indonesia that drew over 35,000 people a night, that is unsaved people in the most populated Muslim country in the world. He preaches the gospel

He plants churches, he has planted over 200 churches in the Us and in Asia such as South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Indonesia.

He travels to Asia monthly, places like China, S Korea, Indonesia, he goes and plants churches, preaches the gospel, holds massive revival, he teaches in churches. As he puts it he lives in two time zones, California and Asia. He goes into the world with the gospel.

He is also a artist, he writes and sings, so he takes the word of God to others in both song and words (preaching). As well as he just produced a movie (1040) about Christianity in the New Asia. About what God is doing in Asia, Jaeson both performs in the movie.

Jaeson has been an encouragement to me in my walk, to live Missionally, he inspired me with his 365 Days of Love, to do like wise myself this year. He is truly one who lives Missionally, on mission, he does not not talk about doing it, he is doing it. Read his blog here.

missional-livingI have read so many blogs about being Missional, heard so many people at conferences that talk about being missional. But yet the vast majority of them are not living Missionally.  Too many who are not living Missionally criticize those who are. And too many talk about it, tell others to live Missionally while not living it themselves. And that is so wrong, people should be leading, teaching by example, if you are not doing it then you need to get busy and live that way if you want to talk about it.

In light of that, this is what I now ask people who say they are living Missionally, who write and speak about living Missionally. Because I ask these very questions of myself.

How may people did you share the gospel of Jesus with today? This week?
How many came to the LORD while you shared the Gospel with them today? This week?
How may people did you baptized this week? (it should match the question above)
Who are you currently discipling? (you meet with daily long term as did Jesus)

The above is the great “mission” given to every follower of Christ in Mat 28:19, Mark 16:15 and in Act’s 1:8.

All of these are Jesus’ marching orders to His followers, the mark of a follower of Christ, at the core of Jesus mission for us. It is imposable to be on Jesus’ mission unless you are doing these things, this was/is His mission on earth.

Next I ask:

Are you feeding the hungry? Did you today? This week? How did you personally do it?
Are you clothing the naked? Did you today? this week? How did you personally do it?
Are you giving drink the they thirsty? Did you today? this week? How did you personally do it?
Are you visiting, lay hands on and pray for the sick? Did you today? this week?
Are you taking in strangers? Did you today? this week?
Are you visiting those imprisoned? Did you today? this week?
Are you setting any captives free? Did you today? this week? How did you?

This is what Jesus said if you do not do the things above: Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” Mat 25:31-46 Jesus did all these things daily during His life,  so He is saying if you are saved, you too will do them, continue His mission.

I believe all of those are the basic requirements to live Missionally (and according to Jesus the actions of someone whom is saved), living on mission is to be living on the mission of Jesus. So unless we are doing them and doing them daily,  we are not on His mission,  living Missionally according to Jesus. Yes there is more to living on mission, Missionally, but these are the core, must be doing things.

In summery, I believe the only way we can claim to live on mission, to be living Missionally is if our life is fulfilling Mat 28:19, Mark 15:16 Acts 1:8 and Mat 25: 31-43. So I will ask you the same questions I ask myself, how did you live those out today? This week?

So before you write a book, blog about, speak at a conference or tweet about being missional, I will ask you to answer the above questions first. Before you tell others to or how to, or criticize those who are living it out.

As for myself this is how I chose to live on mission, to live Missioanlly, by imitating the life of Jesus, being obedient to His commands (like the ones above), to continue His mission with my life as I see in scripture.

3-20-10Got my new passport in the mail today, I had let it expire not having any need for it. But after having been lead by a burning desire to get it renewed and what seems to have been the leading of the Spirit to get it, I have it and am free to move about the world again.

The very day I applied for it I was given two words from the LORD that where related to me getting it, it could be used to enable the fulfillment of the words given to me. (read here)

I prayed over it and claimed Is 2:8 over it: “Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance, And the very ends of the earth as Your possession.” I even wrote it on a stick note and attached it to my passport.

I also claim Mark 16:15 “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” and that is my plan for it.

I want to fill up every page of it with places that I have been, places that I preached the gospel, planted churches, feed the hungry, clothed the naked and set the captives free.

I say to the LORD as did Isaiah: “Here I am LORD, send me!” I am ready to Go!

What is the difference today between the  men in the upper room in Jerusalem 2000 years ago that tuned the world upside down and the church today?

They believed in and walked in the Holy Spirit and All His power and gifts. And lived out what they believed, they where obedient to the commands of Jesus to Go, and did all he told them. And so they turned the world upside down.

Any follower of Jesus can do the same thing today, all they have to do is be filled with the Holy Spirit. And Go in all His power and gifts and you too could turn the world upside down. But you must believe the same Holy Spirit that was in them, that raised Christ from the dead is the same today. And will equip you with all the same power and gifts that He did them 2000 years ago. Everything you read about the Holy Spirit and His gifts are just a real today and yours for the asking, everyone of them. And that the commands of Jesus are just as valid, Go!

Just another simple thought for the day.

2328879637_c0d2e376ff What if we live our lives from now to the moment we leave this earth, in such a way that our lives, and live message was so impacting on the culture.  That it actual changes the culture of you neighborhood, your city. That you lived a life that was so unique, so compelling, that it actual changed the culture. Not is a worldly way, not for worldly agendas’ like the Republican or Democratic party, or a church domination, your own agenda, but for the sake of the gospel, for the Kingdom of God agenda.

And what if it even went beyond that, impacted the nation, and even expanded across the world to every nation. Even still effected people long after you had died. God did that though the people of the first century church, with people far less equipped and educated than you. With out the internet, cell phones, twitter or even the US Mail. With cars and jets to get across the globe hours.

Just think what He could do though you, if Him and His kingdom where you priority in life. If you chose to live a God centered, Jesus soaked life of mission.

Just something to think about.