Summary: In this message I talk about what it takes to be an On Mission church. This was preached after we returned from our first ever church wide mission trip.
Becoming An “On Mission” People
NOTE: This message was given the weekend after our church went on our first ever church-wide mission trip to Pidras Negras, Coahilla, Mexico.
We talk a lot about ministry here at NCC. The Bible tells us that every believer is gifted in some area or areas to serve the body of Christ. But the Bible also tells us that we are to be on mission as well. You see, ministry is what you do in the local body of believers to help build the body. Mission is what happens when you take the message of Jesus to people who need him. We were not told to go preach Jesus to other church members. Jesus expects us to reach out to the unchurched lost without him. Why does this suppose to matter to us? Because God loves people. He is head over heels in love with the people he has created. It should also matter to us because there is no hope of getting right with God outside of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
When we talk about being on mission with God the task is not simply go and tell. The goal is to make as many Christ-like followers as we can. We are to reach the unchurched, help them grow in their faith, help them find their gifts to use and serve the body but also to equip them to be on mission as well. We reach out, bring them in, build them up and send them out. This is the whole reason for our church’s existence.
I want so desperately for our church to be committed to that! But it’s not just going to happen. We have to be intentional about it. In order for that to happen…there must be a shift in our thinking and life style. This must not just be God’s vision, or the preachers’ vision…but OUR vision.
Here is how we can become and “On Mission” person and Church: (Thesenext five bulleted statements were adapted from Rick Warren’s Class 401—Saddleback Church.) For some of you who have taken Class 401 these will be a reminder for you.
· We must shift our thinking from self-centeredness to God centeredness
“Each of you should not look only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Philippians 2:4
Illustration: It was an eye opening experience to see some of the things we saw this past week in Mexico. I realized how selfish I was in a lot of ways. It was hard to complain about shoes, air conditioner and the things I had to eat after what we saw.
· We must shift our thinking from local to global
Acts 1:8 says, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the world.”
Illustration: What is God up to in the world? What is he doing? Do you know? It’s important that we see where he is at work and then join him. We would be amazed at what he is up to.
· We must shift our thinking from temporal values to eternal values.
What are you living your life for? What are you investing your life in? Two places that can begin to show you are your pocket book and your palm pilot.
Illustration: The name of one of the pastors we worked with in Mexico was Paulino. Paulino and his wife worked and saved for years in order to be able to build a home for them to spend their retirement years in. He’s been a pastor for over 25 years! God gave him a vision to meet a great need in Mexico by working with handicapped, orphaned children. Paulino and his wife were led by God to use the home they built for themselves to be an orphanage for handicapped children. That speaks volumes about this man doesn’t it?
· We must shift our thinking from security to service.
Jesus said, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” Matthew 8:20
We cannot stay where we are and go with God. God is always at work. He is at work in the tough places too. Will you join him there?
· We must shift our thinking from comfort to sacrifice.
Illustration: Another pastor we worked with this past week was Pastor Menchaca from an Assembly of God church in Piedras Negras. I’ve never met anyone with such a passion for the gospel of Jesus and share that love with others. He told me a story about how he goes to the surrounding neighborhoods and “ranchitos” to share the gospel. He even drives several hours away into the interior of Mexico to preach to the Kickapoo Indians. He preaches and then they take him hunting. Whatever he kills he brings the meat back to his family and his church members. Pastor Menchaca goes without so much just to be able to minister to the people in his community. How’s your comfort level been?