On a Mission
Have you ever heard someone say, "I am on a mission"? My first thought is, "Well, what is the mission?" and "Do I want to join in?" I am intrigued by the thought of joining someone who seems singularly focused and determined. I feel vital when I feel like I am investing my time and energies in a cause, event, fundraiser, etc that in fact gets accomplished.
I believe that the church must be just as effective at "being on a mission." Our mission as a United Methodist Church is "to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world." I have heard this for years and I know it is drawn from Jesus' commissioning of the disciples found in the gospel of Matthew.
18 And Jesus came and said to [the disciples], "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age."(Matthew 27:18-20)
Are we effective at doing that? Are we a church that is singularly focused on making disciples?
Many of us start to cringe when we think of "making disciples" or "witnessing" or "evangelism." Each of these terms has been so misrepresented across the years that it is hard for us to claim them as good tools for helping others have the gift of faith that we so enjoy. Honestly, making disciples is about inviting others to the faith party. Our greatest tool in fulfilling our mission is claiming our faith and learning to tell our story. No, this does not require a long-winded testimony of how God saved you from your own personal hell to give you victory over evil. It is your story that answers just a few easy questions.
When did I become a Christian?
How has being Christian impacted my life?
How has being Christian impacted other people's lives?
If you can answer these three questions, then you can construct your faith story! We must be willing to claim why we pray to God, why we go to church, why we tithe to the church and why we serve the community in order to give witness to the people in our lives. This should be our mission - to give witness to God through our faith.
Join me this month while I am on a mission to draw others into the faith I am so grateful for everyday!
Blessings, Pastor Carol