(adapted from parts of a sermon I preached back in 2014 and is still relevant more so today).
It’s extremely important for believers to continually stay locked in to the mission of God. Of course, when I say, “locked in,” I don’t mean stay locked down. The mission of God goes beyond an order to stay at home. God’s mission doesn’t stop, just because the world has.
God’s mission still can safely continue in the midst of this worldwide pandemic.
And, with churches giddy with excitement to re-open their buildings after President Trump declared communities of faith “essential” entities of society, it’s even more important that churches remain focused.
When Jesus stepped onto the scene and began His public ministry, He was on mission to get into people’s lives and preach the truth in love. Jesus did that everyday and everywhere He went.
But it’s not like Jesus showed up with a desire to topple the temple or dismantle the synagogue and start a brand-new church that was modeled after His way. It’s not like the early believers went to Ephesus in search of an elementary school to rent for their Sunday morning service. Paul didn’t go to Corinth looking for a grand stadium to plant a mega church.
The only thing Jesus commissioned His disciples with, was with the mission to preach the Gospel and make disciples. Churches were the by-product of the early believers’ obedience to God and not the other way around.
When the church is so focused on “church business” and when we’re so focused on growth strategies…when we’re so focused on church lighting schemes and budgets, when we’re so focused on operating the church…we’re not focused on God and His mission.
Don’t get me wrong…all that stuff is important. Yes! But that stuff should never supersede preaching the Gospel and making disciples.
And I’ll say it this way…we can’t preach the Gospel and make disciples the way, perhaps, Jesus intended if we don’t “Go.”
Most of our Christian lives, especially in leadership circles, we’ve been trained to invite people to come. We’ve been ingrained with the idea of inviting folks to our services, to wear the right Sunday garb, and everything and all things church related. Jesus was bent on “sending” people. He was bent on the mission. Jesus was bent on sending and telling His people to go. Why? Because the “mission field”, for the lack of words, is where people who needed to hear His message were.
The church, because of the COVID lockdowns, has been on mission in great ways. We have an amazing opportunity to be something we haven’t been in a long time and make a wonderful long lasting impact that, perhaps, has been more meaningful than ever.
Let’s not forget Jesus’ mission just because we can gather again. Let’s not lose the fire. Let’s not lose the momentum.
Let’s continue to be on mission.