A Mission is defined as, "the vocation or calling of a religious organization, especially a Christian one, to go out into the world and spread its faith.” There are three pieces to this definition, a calling, a direction and the content of the message. Matthew 28:18-20 is known as the great commission. This is our mission.
18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
Our calling is based on the power and presence of Jesus. As followers of Jesus we are strengthened and encouraged by the power of Jesus. He says in versus 18 that He possesses all power, both in heaven and on earth. Then He turns and promises in verse 20 that He will always be with us. If Jesus has all power and He is always with us, then there is truly nothing to fear. So, in verse 19 Jesus says that in light of these truths “Go”. The use of the word therefore points back to the power of Jesus and says because this is true, Go.
Our calling is found in Jesus. Every believer is called to missions. We are called to share the good news of Jesus. We are called to Go. We cannot take the attitude that if people want to come to church they will. People, the world, our community is lost and lost people don’t want to come to church. Furthermore, we are called to “Go”. We are to move outside of the walls of the church to engage the community and the world.
There is an argument that often times arises over missions. People say, “Why are we going to another country or another state when there are lost people in our community?” Missions is not an either-or proposition. We are called to reach both those in our community and those around the world. We should have a focus on both. The reality that I see as a pastor is that the more we are going into the community and into the world the more that God is honored and blesses the church. God wants to bless churches that are faithful to His mission.
The content of the message never changes. Jesus is the Son of God. He came from heaven, lived a sinless life and died for our sins. Whoever confesses their sins and believes in Jesus will be saved. The message never changes, but the method has changed many times through history. How we engage our community, our state, our country, our continent or our world is going to look different in each of these locations. What works in the Silver City community will be different than what works in Mexico or in Africa. Paul’s sermons contain the same gospel but the way the message is presented was different based on the city. The message of Jesus is the same. The methods used will vary greatly in locations and generations.
“We believe in the priesthood of all believers” 1 Peter 2:5. This means that we have direct access to God. We no longer have to go to a priest and ask them to interact with God on our behalf. This also means that as believers we represent God to the world. We are His ambassadors. This is not a choice but rather a part of our salvation. Our lives become a testimony to God’s grace and goodness. May we all begin to look at our lives through the lens of being a missionary and live out a life that is connected to the mission of Jesus.