Summary: Jesus was sent by the Father and Jesus then sent His disciples. How does Jesus’ calling connect with the church’s calling? How does God use the unique character of a local church to impact its community for the gospel?
Let’s consider the purpose of Church at the Mission today? Why are we here? What is the mission of Church at the Mission?
Our mission, why we are here and what we should be doing, is not something that we come up with ourselves. Who is the head of this church. It’s not me. It’s not Rick Tobias. It’s not the board of Yonge Street Mission. Jesus is the head of this church. Since he’s the head of this church, it’s up to Him to decide what we’re about.
He gives us human leadership to steward His church (which is pretty amazing when you think of it) but it’s His call what we’re about. It’s His call. His calling. Let’s look at what Jesus said was His own personal calling:
Luke 4:14 Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. 15 He taught in their synagogues, and everyone praised him. 16 He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read. 17 The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: 18 "The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor." 20 Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him,21 and he began by saying to them, "Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing."
Jesus says, quoting from Isaiah who had written 750 years earlier and then applying directly to Himself…He says that He has been anointed, and He has been sent on a five-fold mission.
Now we’re going to look at this passage more closely, but as we’re doing that I want to point out another passage of Scripture that might help us to see how it is that what Jesus is called to, His mission…it is also our mission.
John 20:19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!" 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. 21 Again Jesus said, "Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you." 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit.
So as we think about Jesus’ own mission, let’s do so understanding that as God sent Jesus into the world, Jesus sends us into the world; as God the Father anointed and empowered Jesus to fulfill His calling, Jesus, God the Son empowers us by sending us the Holy Spirit.
Preach the good news to the poor
How did Jesus do this? He gathered around Himself a community (that’s what Jesus’ disciples were and are – His community). Then He went around other communities and taught the way to God; He went to people who were sad and lonely, or to people who had it all, understood them, and then spoke Good News to them.
And Jesus sends us. How does CATM preach good news to the poor? There are so many ways that people from this church do this. Let me mention just a few. Rob and Gary Oliver are out in the community or hanging out in front of their place just loving on people. Hearts attuned to God’s love and to the needs and cries of the people they meet, and they share good news. God loves you. Jesus died for you so you can be free.
Esther Lashambe goes from drop-in to drop in sharing her life with people who often really struggle and are misunderstood. She loves them. She gives herself to God and God uses her to touch lives.
Others here do it in their own unique way. As a church, we must always share the good news of Jesus Christ with those who will hear it. And Jesus said the poor in spirit, those who recognize their need for God, are especially blessed.
How are you sharing the good news? You will encourage others when you share how God is using you to touch lives.
Proclaim freedom for the prisoners
Jesus lived as a person truly, deeply free in every way. His was the perfect picture of a liberated life. As a free person He proclaimed what He lived. You and I as members of this church are on a journey toward living free.