Summary: The church that embraces the mission of God and looks beyond itself ~ identifying ways to reach the lost, draw in the wandering, touch others for Jesus’ sake ~ this is the church that will be alive and making beautiful harmony with the Holy Spirit
Missional ~ Taking the Good News to Others
Scripture Text: Matthew 10.1-10
Rick Warren’s book called, A Purpose Driven Life… has had a dramatic impact upon millions of people. He explains life is not aimless, wandering; …but-that God has created us with purpose in mind. A life well-lived is a life that is lived in view of the purpose for which we are created. And-that-means, we have to understand our life and our purpose in view of God.
It’s no insult to say-that Rick Warren hasn’t said anything-new in his book. As-a-matter-of-fact, …the basic-idea is contained within Scripture ~ …and-so, it’s been around for thousands of years! We are created by God. We are created for God. We are created to-love and serve God with the life that He gives us!
Rick followed up his first book with another book: The Purpose Driven Church. And that-idea ~ that the church has a God-given purpose ~ …that-idea is also very-Scriptural. You see it played-out and explained in-all-sorts of places. Our life-together is not an end-in-itself. We are who we are; …we are brought together and connected to one another and our lives are woven into a tapestry of many gifts and talents, shapes and perspectives, …our church is being built together by God for bigger purposes than we can imagine or dream-up!
I think there’s something–about Lego’s that might help us to understand the church. The makers of Lego’s designed-them to be played with ~ …to be taken out-of-the-box, …put-together, …used to-create new-and-different structures… I-guess you could say, …that’s their created-purpose…
As we continue to mull-over this question: What’s A Church to Be Like? ~ …as we wrestle-with-this-question, …I’m convinced that one piece-of-the-answer must-be that the church is to be purposeful. Even-as Legos are created with a purpose in-mind, …so-the-church is created-by-God with purpose and mission in-mind.
In previous-weeks, we’ve discovered that some of the key-characteristics of the church are: …that we are all sinners, saved by grace; …that because we’ve been forgiven-of-much, we should be forgiving toward-one-another; …and-that, since we are beloved-by-God, …we should strive to imitate our Lord Jesus Christ in our attitudes-and-actions.
Today, we turn our attention to yet-another characteristic ~ …another ingredient in the recipe that makes-for a healthy congregation: Purpose. Mission. You-might-say-that it’s our calling.
He called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness… These twelve Jesus sent out with the [instructions]…”
The disciples represent the entire church at this point-in-time; We should see ourselves in their shoes, …and we are included in Jesus’ instructions: …not-as-the-recipients of their ministry, …but as fellow messengers-and-ministers. As people who’ve already received the promise of salvation ~ …now we’re called-together with mission and purpose. It is something that’s given by God. It’s not something that we conjure-up with our-own imagination. The mission and the purpose of the church springs out of the will of God; …and it’s our responsibility to submit our collective-will ~ …as-well-as to-submit our individual dreams-and-plans ~ …it’s our responsibility to submit our will, to the will of God.
You recall the prayer that Jesus taught His disciples to pray? ~ “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done.”? ~ In-other-words, …we-are who-we-are because of Him, and who He is!
And-whatever-it-is, that we set our hearts on, …whatever we set our attention on, …whatever we pour our energies out on, …whatever goals we dream of achieving and attaining ~ …whatever captures our hearts-and-imaginations, …we must submit it-all to the will of God! We are a healthy-church, …we are a blessed-church, …we are the kind of church that we’re supposed-to-be, when we seek the purpose-and-plan of God above-all-else!
What’s a church to be like? Missional. Purposeful. Goal-oriented. Devoted to pursuing and following the dreams-of-God. After-all, …we are not-just the product of God’s will, …we are also called to be partners in pursuing His will!
In the infinite wisdom-of-God, …He sees fit to call you-and-me, …church-families like ours, and-others, …He sees-fit to make us partners with-Him in carrying out His mission-and-purpose for His Creation!
I don’t know how that makes-you-feel, …but it is extremely-humbling to me! I’m a-lot-like-Moses in-that, …I don’t feel qualified for such a high-calling! And neither-are-you! And-together ~ when you add-up all our abilities and all-the-things that we have-to-offer, …when you add-it-all-up, …we still come up way-short of what it’ll-take to accomplish God’s will for our city!... It is His will that none perish, …but that all come to saving-relationship with Him, through Jesus. Who will tell them, if we don’t!?!
It is His will that we preach and teach and play-a-part in delivering-people from the stronghold of the enemy! Who will do this, if we don’t!?!
It is His will that we go into all the world, …proclaiming the good-news of salvation through Jesus. Who will go, if we don’t!?!