Summary: What it means to be "mission" driven for the Kingdom
April 14, 2002
"Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 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, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age." (Matthew 28:16-20, RSV)
Introduction: The success of any organization is directly proportional to the relevancy of it’s mission and it’s ability to remain focused to that mission.
We are at a crossroad in the life of our church -as a denomination, and as a local entity.
97% of the world has heard of coca-cola
74% of the world has seen a can of coca-cola
51% of the world has tasted coca-cola
Coca-cola has been around for less than 100 years
If God had given the task of world evangelization to the Coca-cola company, it would probably be done by now. [illustration source unknown]
Every Believer A Missionary
[Outline taken from Wiseman, Neil B., ed. and now Next Door and Down The Freeway: Developing A Missional Strategy For USA/Canada. (Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City: Kansas City, MO, 2001) pp48-50.]
1. Missional Requires Prevailing Prayer.
Before beginning a journey one firsts looks at the map. In life’s journey we need to go to the navigator, the one who has purposed and planned our lives. Jesus said, "I am the way."
"The Lord is at hand. Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Jesus Christ." (Philippians 4:5-7, RSV)
"And this is the confidence which we have in him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us." (1 John 5:14, RSV)
Not only does prayer open the communication between us and God for guidance, but also enables God more fully to use us because we place ourselves in step with His purpose.
"The prayer of a righteous man has great power in its effects." (James 5:16, RSV)
Why? Because a righteous person is one who follows the leader instead of standing in the way.
Ill- Mark 9:14-29 (vss 19,23,29)
vs 19 "And he answered them, "O faithless generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him to me." (Mark 9:19 RSV)
vs 23 "And Jesus said to him, "If you can! All things are possible to him who believes." (Mark 9:23 RSV)
vs 29 "And he said to them, "This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer." (Mark 9:29 RSV)
The disciples tried to do it by their own power and ability-they lacked faith
vs 29 "And he said to them, "This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer." Prayer is an expression of faith. Believing that God is able.
Prayer is empty and meaningless unless we are directly connected to God. Why would we pray to someone we didn’t trust, or believe in?
2. Missional Demands A Desperate Dependence On God.
The task is too great. The resources are too few.
John 15 vss 1,5,7
"I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser...I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing...If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you." (RSV)
I Kings 17-Elijah fed by Ravens, brook. Then goes to widow.
[If you’re living by your own strength and making it:
1) you’re not going anywhere in life, not maturing, or
2) you’re about to reach the end of your rope, and it’s a long way down.]
3. Missional Means Expecting God To Provide Leaders.
Jesus said, "the harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest." (Matthew 9:37-38, RSV)
Jesus always prayed with expectancy
"whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith." (Matthew 21:22, RSV)
"ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways, will receive anything from the Lord." (James 1:6-8, RSV)