I know it’s a simplification to say this, but I think simple is good. I often tell people that what God is doing with the world can be summed up in two categories: Discipleship, and Missions. I invite you to suggest a Christian activity that doesn’t fit into one of these…
He is at work reaching out to people from every nation, every single people group. It is a gracious and systematic work according to His Grace and Purpose (Matt 24; 14; 28:19-20; Acts 1:8; 2 Timothy 1: 8-9 etc.).
He is simultaneously shaping the community that is His Church. Growing (in number and character) His Church into a Christ-like people, disciples. (i.e. Ephesians 2:11-22; 5:1-2).
But God is most definitely not doing this on His own, it is a mystery how it all works, but He has definitely called us to be involved (the above scriptures are so full of commands to US: go, make, teach, be, join with me, be imitators, live, .. I won’t add any more). So here’ the thing – when I talk about going to other nations or sending Christians to work and share and be Christ followers among other peoples, it amazes me that so many can say “Oh I could never do that..” or “Wow, that’s amazing” as if it takes extra super powers to obey God internationally.
The truth is participation in worldwide missions is as essential as participation in discipleship. We are not all called to go overseas, but we are all called to actively participate in the missional community that is the body of Christ. If you struggle with excuses for participation (or know someone else who does ..), I suggest that missions and discipleship engagement takes many forms:
- Some need to travel,
- many need to resource the going, the communicating,
- all need to pray specifically for the hearts, the activities, the outcomes.
By the way, just to prove that I don’t take myself too seriously I offer you this hilarious video of how to overcome excuses in life… there’s some real truth in Bob Newhart’s approach..