5 Reasons why Christian Mission is Essential to the World

Christian mission differs from every other mission because it takes the person of Jesus into all the world. Christian mission is essential to the world. There are many reasons why we need to be involved in Christian mission. Here are but a few example reasons. Feel free to add more in the comments below:

It spreads the Gospel of Jesus into a world full of need

Christian mission is a message about a man who is God. Only God can meet the needs of the world. Our mission calls the world to turn back to God in order to bring him into the mess of every person’s life. Without Jesus the world will be spiritually and practically hungry and thirsty – all societies need Jesus.

It calls Christians out of comfort into dependency on Jesus

Living a life of mission is not easy. It is a hard path. Read any missionary biography; speak with those who do share their faith – it can be very difficult. Jesus did not promise comfortable faith: He invites us into a faith which requires perseverance and faith which will be tested. Mission causes us to leave our comfort zone and into situations where we need to rely on Jesus to survive.

It calls the Church to stand up and speak out

The mission is a message about a man called Jesus. Every message needs to be presented. We need to stand up and act out the gospel, but we also need to articulate and speak out the Gospel to the world. How will they know unless they hear?

It relies on our weakness and God’s strength

The mission of God is fraught with difficulties. When we stand up and speak out there will be times when we are out of our depths and comfort zones: In these times we are functioning in our weakness, but we also can rely on the strength of God to do what he has called us to do. God’s strength is made evident in our weakness.

The World is lost without the Gospel

It is the most obvious reason. the gospel compels us to participate in the mission of God because it highlights that the world is lost: lost in darkness; lost to relationship with God; lost in the meaningless of life without God. LOST!

Gospel – The Story of the World

Today I want to share with you what I believe because I trust it with my whole heart. My belief goes back in history to before the time Jesus was born. It goes back to the beginning of time.

The World
It was a time when the world was dark, and empty. There were no trees, rivers or seas. There were no birds, lions or honey bees. There was just the deep darkness of nothing. Out of the darkness the voice of God spoke – and as he spoke things began to happen. The world began to form – who knows how it really happened? The important point is that God began to form the world with his words. After six God-days the world was created, and so were we. God looked at all he had made and he said, “It is good!”

Time and Seasons
God created the world and with it the seasons. The seasons marked the passing days and months and years – even time was made by God. Each season brought new fruits and food stuffs. Sunshine came and went with each day as mankind enjoyed the world God had created.

A love story
So far this is sounding like a nice story about another time and another place. And up till this point it is, but this is where this story becomes our story. The first humans had it all: They loved the world they lived in. They enjoyed life to the full. They walked with God in the cool of the day. Imagine… walking with God and he’s speaking to you like a friend. Life was perfect. The world was perfect. Everything was perfect.

Conflict
But the first humans were not content to walk with God: they wanted to be like God, and when the opportunity came they did what God told them not to do – they ate from the wrong tree. There were hundreds, even thousands of fruit trees and they were told to leave one of them alone, but they did not do it. They ate the fruit God told them to leave.

Separation
God tells them to leave the garden. Sin comes into the world. Pain comes into the world. Struggle comes into the world. Shame comes into the world. Guilt comes into the world. And these things separate the humans from God. God loves them and wants them to be with him – walking with him, but their hearts have been made dark by their wrong-doings.
They are now walking in darkness. Every human born into our world also walks in this darkness. We are separated from God.

How can we return to God? Some people have tried being good all the time – but we fail very quickly when we try this. Sometimes we try to convince ourselves there is no God – but the world alone is evidence for God’s existence, not to mention other things we could say if time was on our side. Often we just convince ourselves that we just don’t care, or it doesn’t matter.

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The love story continues
It all seems hopeless. In our story can we ever return to God? Will we ever be able to walk with God? Well, thousands of years pass by. There are a few that continue to believe in God. There are even those that were awaiting the arrival of the “Messiah” – God’s chosen one who would break the darkness and bring God’s love and light into the world. These people believed that God loved humanity too much not to do something. Would God act?

The Hero
Then Jesus stepped into time. He proved he was God’s chosen one in many ways: miracles; his great teaching about love; his life (he fulfilled over 300 prophesies given by many people over hundreds of years); his death; and by rising from the dead. Only the chosen one of God could do this. Why?

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Love
To show the world that God created that it was not alone in the darkness. The love of God was made real. It was in Jesus – His death proved God’s love for you and me. Jesus is the hero in our story. He is the enlightened one. The rescuer. The light in the darkness. God did this because he loves you. Have you ever thought about what that means? GOD LOVES YOU! Here is the truth – let it light up your heart today. Perhaps you have never thought that God loves you and wants to be your friend. “I wish I could walk with God in the garden”, you may be saying. Because of what Jesus has done we can say to God, “Be the light in my life today”. Invite him into your life to show you how much he loves you. This is not someone else’s story – it’s your story.

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The end of the story?
Every story needs a happy ending. I wonder if the story of your life and my life will have such an ending. Only you can tell the end of the story. Jesus is the undeniable light of the world. I believe his love can light up the darkest heart. I believe his love can transform the most difficult situations. I believe that there is nothing we can do to stop God from loving us. Ask the rescuer to shine his love and light into your heart. Make every day a day where you chose to walk as close to God as possible – he’s waiting to walk with you: all you need to do is ask him to come and walk with you. His light may be the difference you are hoping for this year. How will your story continue?

Confidence (in God and His Word)

Have you ever been asked to do something that you just have no confidence to do? I’m generally a confident person – at least that’s the image of me that people perceive. I had this job selling computer software. the product was brilliant – I wanted to buy it and was sure a lot of people would want to buy it too! My manager explained that to meet the sales targets I would have to manipulate clients into making a sale. This method of sales compromised my faith and I lost my confidence to sell the product. When I made phone calls I did it half-heartedly. I could not do it and I VERY quickly lost confidence in the company – I was now not confident. Needless to say I quit after one week!!

If we are do anything well, and with Godly integrity, we need to be confident that we (a) believe the bible and (b) are confident in God.

As Christians we are called to ‘make disciples’ who will walk in Christ’s footsteps. This also takes confidence – we need to be confident in God . We need the assurance that He is all he says he is, and will do all he has promised to do. This is one reason the young people are going to study what the bible says about who god is (and isn’t). Are we confident in God? Is our faith set on Him? Is our walk with God relational – does God inspire us towards a fruitful happy missional (living as a missionary to the world around you) Christian life?

We are also called to ‘preach the good news’ to all people everywhere (and as St Francis of Assisi says, “use words if necessary”). Are we confident that the Bible is God’s word for all people everywhere? Are we able to share our faith with conviction and passion, knowing with confidence that God will never let us down? Our lives are meant to follow Jesus’ example of reaching the lost around us – as we live incarnationally in the world we show people the reality of Christ! And that’s a reality the world needs to see!

A lack of confidence in God and in his divine word  will undermine our faith and our message. May we be confident in God, who never fails us, and in His word that reveals God to us. May the Spirit of God reveal God’s truths to our heart and soul so that we can confidently say with St Paul:

I am not ashamed of the Gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes.

May we, young and old, confidently affirm at the beginning of this year our unwavering faith in God, and in his word.

Leadership and the Gospel

I have been around churches for 38 years at the time of writing. I have experienced many churches, faith groups and forms of Christian community. Some have been positive and a true source of blessing; some negative and abusive; some neutral and nice. But one thing they all have in common is that they are formed under the influence of their leadership – one way or another Leadership.

My hope with this site is that it might become a place where conversations occur and connections are made regarding the value of positive leadership styles which will enhance Gospel impact with regard to personal lives, processes of discipleship and mission strategy.

I believe there is need for Christian leaders to be value-led and servant-modelled. Their values and servant-hood needs to be centred upon the person and teachings of Jesus in order to be as effective in releasing the church to understand, grasp and apply the gospel in all aspects of life, faith and society. The Gospel has failed to massively impact society as a whole in our generation and we need to be asking WHY this is the case.

Within the scriptures all the NT writers centre upon the Gospel of Jesus Christ. As I observe many contexts and have experienced many expressions of the Church I am concerned that their is a disconnect between the following components:

  • Our understanding and application of the Centrality of Jesus
  • Our understanding and application of ‘the Gospel’
  • Our understanding and outworking of Discipleship
  • Our understanding and practice of mission in today’s world

I hope that we can explore these together and come to understand how they can and do fit together in perfect balance to glorify Jesus and extend the kingdom of God preached by Christ and the apostles in every generation.