Summary: This message is a call to urgent action. It is a call to urgently accomplish our mission--both as individuals and as a church.
1. The first reason we can confidently accomplish our mission is our authority
2. The second reason we can confidently accomplish our mission is our assignment
3. The third reason we can confidently accomplish our mission is our assurance
Back in the ‘80s, there was a big push in the business world for everybody to come up with mission statements. The object was to come up with a short statement that told the world what their company was about. It was also supposed to tell all the employees what they were about. I love some of the mission statements companies came up with. Some of them sound really plastic and corporate—like a bunch of lawyers came up with them. But some of them are pretty good. I like Wal-Mart’s—“To give ordinary folks the chance to buy the same thing as rich people.” Isn’t that good? It gets the point across to everybody. What about Walt Disney’s. They have a good one—“To make people happy.” That’s a good mission statement. Everybody knows what they’re talking about. I think the folks at Nike had a sense of humor when they came up with theirs. Theirs is about the most clear and concise mission statement I’ve ever heard. Nike’s mission statement is: “Crush Reebok.” Mission statements have been a trendy thing for businesses for about 25 years. Shareholders like them. CEOs like them. Wall Street likes them. So, following the lead of the world, churches started to jump on the bandwagon too. If mission statements were good enough for IBM and GE, they ought to be good enough for churches, right? So, before you knew it, church leaders wrote books and churches formed committees. And then many of them came up with these wonderfully creative mission statements. Some are pretty good. And some of them are not so good. Some are just pure fluff. One thing becomes very clear when you look at the early church. Not one time in the book of Acts did James or Peter or Paul sit down with the churches of Jerusalem and Asia to develop unique mission statements. Not one time did Paul address the need for unique mission statements in any of his letters. When Paul placed Titus over the churches in Crete, he gave him a lot of instructions. Not one of them concerned him developing a unique mission statement for each of the churches in Crete. Not once did he instruct the young pastor Timothy on the need for him to develop a unique mission statement for Ephesus. I’m not saying that unique mission statements for individual churches are wrong. What I am saying is that they are unnecessary. They are unnecessary because Jesus already gave us our mission statement in our passage this morning. And it’s not something that’s unique. It applies to every church just the same. It applied to the church in Jerusalem the exact way it applies to Brushfork Baptist Church today. After Jesus died, was buried and rose again on the third day, He stayed around for 40 days to teach and encourage the disciples. About 25 or 30 days after the resurrection, they met Jesus on an unspecified mountain in Galilee. The text specifically calls out the eleven apostles as being there. But it doesn’t limit it to them only. As a matter of fact, this was probably where Jesus revealed Himself to the over 500 people that Paul talks about in 1 Corinthians 15. So there was quite a group of people there. Jesus told the ladies who had gone to His tomb to have the disciples meet Him in Galilee. They obeyed. And so did the disciples—lots of them. They obeyed even though some of them still doubted. But when they saw Jesus and heard Him speak, they worshipped Him. After they recognized Jesus for who He really is, He gave them a job to do. He gave them a mission. He gave them their mission statement. And it’s the same mission statement He still gives us today. This sermon is a call to urgent action. It is a call to urgently accomplish our mission—both as individuals and as a church. I want each of us to know the mission that Jesus gave us. But most of the time, knowing what to do isn’t the problem, is it? The problem comes with actually doing it. That’s why I want each of us not only to know what our mission is—I want us to do it. And I want us to do it with confidence. I want each of us to confidently accomplish the mission that Jesus gave us to accomplish. In order to do that, we’re going to look at three reasons we can confidently accomplish our mission. The first reason is our authority. Look with me in verse 18: