I don’t know about you, but when I’m on a mission to the hardware or grocery store, or even as I go to work every day, I’m usually pretty laser-focused, intent on my goal. But am I aware that “on the way” or “as I go,” God may have something in mind for me?
I continually need to be reminded that I am sent. This might also very well be the reminder that most all of us “church-goers” need. We need an awakening to the idea that when we exit our worship together every Sunday and step into our everyday lives—into all of our comings and goings—that God has sent us.
As believers filled with Jesus, we incarnate the fullness of Christ—his truth “in the flesh”—wherever we go. We are sent ones. That’s what the word Mission refers to—being “sent.”
Missional is a connected term that is often used to describe a “being sent” way of life. Someone who is missional is living a life that is shaped by God’s Mission to redeem, restore, and renew a broken creation.
Does living as a sent one shape the way you live?
Consider these thoughts on being sent from Howard Snyder, a professor at Asbury Seminary:
Church people think about how to get people into the church; kingdom people think about how to get the church into the world. Church people worry that the world might change the church; kingdom people work to see the church change the world.
Hugh Halter says it this way:
Missional isn’t a form of church. It’s a label that we give to the qualitative or descriptive aspect of how a church actually lives. It’s about how much like Jesus those people become and how much they influence, woo, and transform the culture in which they are placed. In other words, how “missional” you are is largely determined by the extent to which [you] model the life, activities, and words of Jesus. It doesn’t matter how small or big your church is. Any church of any size can be both missional and non-missional at the same time. The difference is in the lifestyle of the believers.
AS YOU GO
When Jesus gave his disciples his final commission, the one that we have labeled “Great,” he put it in the present tense, “Go, and as you are going, make disciples.”
In other words,
. . . as you live your lives, make new followers of me.
. . . along the way, be intentional and engage those you meet.
. . . as you go along, walk alongside others.
A SHIFT IN THOUGHT
Have you traditionally viewed “being sent” very literally—as in, God’s sending is almost always equivalent to a big change in circumstances?
What if being sent isn’t necessarily a change in our circumstances, but rather a change in our perspective—a shift in the way we view our circumstances and our lives—our regular, daily, even mundane, comings and goings and interactions?
God has sent you to exactly where you are right now. To what extent are you modeling the life, words, and activities of Jesus where you live, work and play?
~ Jeff Klein
Jeff Klein is the National Church Partnership Director for Q Place, a ministry whose mission is to mobilize Christians to facilitate group discussions with spiritual seekers so they can find God as revealed in the Bible.