Posts Tagged ‘Missions’

Pray, start small, and then what? If you’ve been following the last few articles of the Pastor’s Corner, you’ll notice that I’ve been engaging in the what and how of missions. Asking, what are we to do, and how we are to do it, is a fruitful exercise only if we are willing to act upon the established conclusions.

The first conclusion is that we need to pray. Prayer is vital and necessary; God has given us this tool to commune with Him, boldly standing before him asking in His name. Prayer often functions as a last resort, however it should be the starting point. It is the place where for admission that we can do nothing apart from His mercy and grace.

The second conclusion is that we need to start small. Again, it isn’t the intuitive place, yet if one cannot ride a bicycle, then what is the point of starting on a motor cycle? Start little and think big, while letting God work as He pleases.

Character traits series - SACRIFICE

Giving up something good, for something better!

The third conclusion is the need to sacrifice. Now this is nebulous, its kind of like a coach that points out the obvious without a shred of instruction upon how to improve. Sacrifice means that we are going to give up good things now, for the best things later. Giving up what we want for what is far better.

The challenge is that we don’t like to sacrifice. You my be saying, ‘Who is we? Do you have a mouse in your pocket?’ No, I don’t have a mouse in my pocket, but human nature despises sacrifice, unless it has been changed by God. So it can be stated in an unqualified manner, we want our cake and eat it too. The problem is that once you eat your cake you will not have it any more. But human nature wants to eat cake and still have cake for later. We don’t want to give up what we find awesomely satisfying, and we want a never ending supply. We believe the lie of the world to some degree, that happiness is in what can be seen with our eyes, even though we see them fading, decaying, and falling away.

Sacrifice is a distinct part of missions. Giving up what we cannot keep to obtain what we cannot see.  Pray, start small, give up a little, and then a little more, until we’ve given it all away for the sake of the kingdom of God and the glory of His name.

For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?” Matthew 16:26

Posted: December 1, 2015 in Blog, Pastor's Corner
Tags: , ,

Continuing to ask the questions of what & how regarding; missions, our mission, and the work to which God has called his church.

If the first step is to pray and be active, then the next step is to start small. Seems small minded, which doesn’t fit our Cosco, Sam’s Club, bigger is better mentality. Yet if we are faithful with a little bit, then we will be entrusted with even more. This axiom rings true from the time we are children throughout the entirety of our lives. In human relationships it is clear, if we can be entrusted with small things, inevitably we will be entrusted with more.

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Think of it this way, when your boss gives you a job to do, he or she will provide a measure of oversight. If you are able to complete the job in a timely, proficient, and excellent manner; the oversight decreases, and your responsibility increases, as a good boss will entrust you with even more. Consider Joseph in Genesis 39-41. Employees will often raise to managerial position through faithful service, even so, one doesn’t simply become a manager over night.

Again, think in terms of your pastor. Would you want him to be someone who just started coming to church? Someone who intermittently reads his bible? One who needs to learn how to pray faithfully? Or even one who has no desire for the souls of men, but simply thinks being in the ministry is good? If you answered yes… Well… I don’t know what to say. But your answer should be no, seeing the necessity of faithful for a pastor with the little, before he could ever move on to bigger things.

Starting small is as simple as being here with the church. Yes, attend and engage is an initial step toward being found faithful in missions. However, this doesn’t mean that it is the last step; showing up and bolting won’t suffice. If one isn’t among the church, then how will they ever be able to find an avenue for missions work? It must be understood that the church is the chosen vehicle for God’s mission.

Please pray, show up, and start small. Maybe there isn’t a specific need being met in our church. Maybe that is because God calling you to start something, or maybe it is his call upon you to help strengthen something. You will never know unless you are in the church and in relationship with the church.  Realize that you cannot just drop in and start something over night. It takes time, dedication, and hours of relationship, and starting small before anything can get off the ground. Read Matthew 25:14-30 and consider what it means to start small.

Asking the questions, what do I do? and, how is it to be done? are the questions we must ask. I praise God, as I’ve been heard people asking these questions. This comes seemingly as the result of God’s Word preached, and the moving of the Spirit of God over the past month. My prayer is that God will strengthen this stirring desire at Risen Son.

So, how do we do missions? In what way do we begin to do this work? An impetus for missions has been provided, as the Word of God has been expounded. The need to be missional is obvious, and we mustn’t simply be hearers of the Word, but also doers of the Word.

Contrary to popular opinion, the first step isn’t missional action. Believe it or not, the first thing we need to engage ourselves in is prayer. Oddly enough we do not consider prayer to be an act, let alone the beginning point of missions. Prayer needs to be the decisive first step, slowing down, taking our time, and seeking God’s face is what must be done. Seek the will of the Father for our congregation in missions. Scripturally prayer is to be the action we engage in continuously, and we need to be praying in regard to missions.

However, let’s not sit down, pray and expect the work given by God to be done magically. Risen Son has many things to do. Currently there are numerous missional avenues in our church. Get involved in a ministry, be faithful, and make those ministries what they should be.

see-a-need-fill-a-need“See a need, fill a need.” I know I’m quoting a cartoon, but it has great proverbial value. This is highly important and practical. We often like to be armchair quarterbacks and criticize the work done by others, while doing no work our selves. Stop it. If there is an outreach that isn’t as outreachy as you might like, come alongside your brothers and sisters. Love them, serve with them, pray with them and for them, and seek to lead, be led, and love other to faithfulness in the missional commission we live under.

imagesIt is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” Theodore Roosevelt

For some of us this might mean we need to commit to membership. For others it might mean that we need to evaluate what we are doing in light of the Scriptures. And yet for others this means that we need to ask, seek, and knock, praying that God will lead us in missional-covenant faithfulness.