On Mission Together
Confluence September 19, 2017
“Now the Lord said to Abraham….I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and so you shall be a blessing…and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” (Genesis 12:1-3)
Missiologists have referred to God’s promise to Abraham as one with a “top line” – I am going to bless you – and a “bottom line” – in order to make you a blessing. God has a great passion that lies behind his actions. His desire is to pass on that passion to his people. In Genesis, God gives us his plan and intention in order to include us in his desire and intention for humanity.
God is missional, so therefore, God’s family is to be a missional family. We walk together with Him by participating in what he is doing. As the Father is on a mission, we, his children, are also on His mission.
Jesus said, “My Father is at work” (John 5:17). Jesus was about discovering what Father was doing. The power behind our activity is in discovering what Father is doing and becoming involved in it.
I [John Lanferman] wonder if the greatest problem the church faces is not passivity or inaction, but rather activism without discovering what Father is doing. When this occurs we have no power behind our actions!
Jesus modeled a life that followed the Father’s activity. “The Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing…” (John 5:19). Such actions have divine authority with them and will be affective.
Be opportunistic: Living and sharing the gospel.
To be opportunistic is to be sensitive to discover where God is at work. God loves to show us what he is doing. We gain an increased level of faith when we know that what we are doing is in cooperation with Him.
I, along with another young man, was getting ready to board a plane when we were selected for a major security search. The young man seemed troubled and I sensed that God had arranged this particular situation. When I boarded the aircraft I looked for him. I noticed him next to an open seat, which I promptly occupied. After engaging him in conversation, I discovered that his brother had just died of HIV. He had been alone with him at the time and had not anticipated his brother’s sudden death. After the brief conversation I was able to share the gospel with him and pray with him to receive Jesus.
Mission involves being opportunistic and sensitive to what Father is doing. As Father’s children, we need confident awareness that being on mission is not for a few specialists, but for all of us. Jesus told his followers that he would be with them to the end, and then sent his Holy Spirit to empower them for effective mission. Mission is the churches number one job.
Become culturally aware
Within the next forty years, one third of the US population will have Asian and Latin roots. Whether in our neighborhoods or in other nations, we need to understand the field in which we are working.
Prayer is a very large part of God’s mission. Much of our prayer time should be formed around our desire to see God’s kingdom increase. As we pray we should for strategic ways in which we might engage people groups, neighborhoods and specific people with the gospel.
Jesus sent out teams “two by two”. As individuals we tend to be aware of our own inadequacies, but are exponentially empowered when we are engaged, together, in mission.
Mission involves what we do as a community while walking out our life together. Mission is the extension of the love of God wherever and with whomever we may encounter. We must not think of missions as “foreign” and therefore value one people group over another. We may go across the street, across our city or across oceans to share the gospel of the kingdom. When we consider missions only in terms of going to another country, we miss the point of why mission exists.
Your vocation is your mission field.
Our “sphere of influence” is our mission field, or where we have been strategically placed in order to be a catalyst for transformation. We must prayerfully consider how to be transformational in the workplace, for example, because it’s our mission field offering us unique opportunities that others do not possess.
God’s promise to Abraham continues to be the call of Christ’s church. We have been blessed by God’s amazing grace in order that through us God’s gracious blessing might cause the families of the earth to be blessed.
Source: Confluence Blog, NF USA