Jesus, receive me, refresh me, and restore me in you, draw me close to you, then release me into the world today full of your glory.
“As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world... so that the world may believe that you have sent me….so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.” John 17:19-24
Jesus’ has a “train and release” strategy, while overall the church today has a “convert and retain strategy.” Our metrics we use to determine if a church is successful reflect this. As a pastor of a United Methodist Church, the weekly church reports I turn in include number of people at worship services and number of members. There is no incentive to “train and release.” If a church did this well the metrics we use would actually reveal this church as unsuccessful.
The challenge is to make the Gospel the center of our lives not just on Sunday mornings, but every morning of every week. This means ending the distinctions between “full time,” “part time,” and people with secular employment in our team and leadership structures, language, and teachings. We need to encourage all to model whole life, gospel-centered missional living who understand their workplace, homes and neighborhoods are the location of their mission.
The vast majority of Christians have not been helped or equipped by the church to see that who they are and what they do every day in schools, workplaces, clubs, and their neighborhoods is significant to God. Nor that the people they spend time with in those everyday contexts are the people God has called them to pray for, bless, witness to, and share the Gospel with. So we pray for our Sunday school teachers, and not our schoolteachers. We pray for our missionaries going overseas into their foreign mission field, but not the electricians, shop owners, accountants, and managers going daily into their local mission field. We simply have not envisioned, resourced and supported people to share the Good News of Jesus in our everyday context. We need to encourage and embrace the fact that during the week our church members are dispersed throughout their city and even the world. We are already infiltrating the kingdom of Satan. Day by day people in our churches are rubbing shoulders with unbelievers in their workplaces, schools, neighborhoods, and clubs.
My family, I pray you see that as you head out this morning to school, work, the gym or wherever you are going, you are heading out into your mission field. You are heading out to meet the people God has called you to pray for, bless, witness to, and share the Gospel with. In Jesus’ name. Please pray the same for me. God bless you my friends!!!
Please share your thoughts and reflections in the comment box below.