4. Participate in God's Mission in the World.
God was not comfortable to continue for eternity with the amazing loving community he has always experienced. He decided to spread this community by creating human beings. When human relationships broke down and community fell apart, God did not remain aloof. He came and lived among us, taking on human form. He left the comforts of heaven to come into the brokenness of earth to make a way for people to be restored to God and to each other. God is a missionary God! He loves and has a passion for those who are outside his love.
Jesus came for outsiders, those far from God and his love. As Jesus called his disciples to be with him (community) and to become like him (discipleship), he empowered them with the Spirit, not just so they could feel good, but so that they would have the boldness and the wisdom to reach out to people ... locally right nearby them, as well as eventually in all nations of the earth and all sectors of society.
The church is NOT a closed group. Right now God is reaching out to this world. Mission begins and ends with him and his heart for people. When we engage in mission, we simply participate in what God is already doing in our world.
The church is extremely important to God. He loves the church and it is central to what he is doing in the world today. In fact, the local church is the hope of the world because it has been entrusted with the gospel, which is the only thing that can change a human heart – both now and for eternity. Jesus’ intention is that the church be united (John 17:20-21), glorious (Ephesians 5:25-27), and victorious (Matthew 16:17-19). We are not there but God always finished what the starts!
This leaves us with some important questions:
- Am I part of Christ’s community?
- Am I following Christ?
- Am I empowered by the Spirit?
- Am I participating in God’s mission in the world?
[See also BLOG posts on 'Evangelism and Mission']