It was missions weekend at the church this past weekend. We never go, except to the regular Sunday service. We rarely give. I hosted the baby shower in a non-competing time slot. I love that the church supports missions, by which they mean “going to a specific place for the purpose of telling people about Jesus.” Which is great. And we support it. The church has a commitment to missions in the budget, people regularly support projects with time and money. Still, I’m left to wonder what all the fuss is about.
Let me clarify, I’m not saying missions isn’t something to get excited about. The work of the Lord is exciting! I would like to see it be more of a logical extention of who we are encouraged to be in our daily lives whatever the specifics of our calling may be. Making disciples in unreached people groups is thrilling. So is teaching a preschooler to write the letters of their name, even if the setting is my local elementary school. And the church is the place for watering the vine, so to speak. The place to re-energize for another week of life in a fallen world. (sorry, I added this paragraph after thinking about it a bit more for those of you who read the first version)
There is a big emphasis on church planting, or international missions for years at a time and complaining about the ripening cultural climate here in America for persecutions against Christians and how it’s great that some are called to go. Which it is, yet aren’t we all called to go? Or more specifically, aren’t we all being “sent out” by the church every week, in fact? I would have a much easier time with supporting a missions conference that was part of a “missions-minded” church that saw each member as being equipped every Sunday to go into the world and be in not of it. I wonder if we know as much about each other’s daily “mission fields” as we do about our missionaries?
What if my mission field really is Gaithersburg? Even in Acts, some are called to local work while others may go to the ends of the earth. And, if Burt was right in his most excellent sermon today, that we do hold the ropes, I wonder if we took him seriously that we need to be real about our need for Jesus in specific areas of our lives and in the life of our church. How then would we pray? For God to show us those areas where our prejudices hold us back from ministering in Derwood? For forgiveness in an area of conflict with those we may like, or may not like very much within our church body? For grace to abound? For peace and prosperity of the cities and communities around the church where we live?
Things to think on…Blessings!