The heart of the Great Commission

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. (Matt. 28:18-20, NIV) Continue reading “The heart of the Great Commission”

Being “on mission”

I am revisiting Briggs and Hyatt’s book on Eldership and find myself challenged by the lead question: “How would you define ministry?”

The working answer for Briggs and Hyatt: meeting people where they are and journeying with them to where God wants them to be. 

They have a list of what ministry is not to reaffirm that definition:

It is not waiting for people to come to us and then journeying with them. That’s how we think of church in America. (I wish it would stop.)

Ministry is not meeting people where they are and being content with that condition. That’s simply friendship.

Ministry isn’t meeting people where they are and then journeying with them to where want them to be. That’s manipulation.

And my favorite: it’s not meeting people where they are and journeying with them to where they want to be. “That’s Oprah with a little bit of Jesus sprinkled in.”

Let the journey be to God. Let the journey begin where you are. Let’s walk together.

It is not enough

It is not enough to think that if someone simply has a church they can walk by that they have an “adequate” witness of the gospel.

We to be IN the lives of those who do not yet believe so they have an opportunity to see Jesus in some form of reality. Let us not be lazy and think we’re going to let some TV ministry be an adequate witness of the gospel to someone who never turned on some particular program.

Microsoft’s New Department

Read carefully from this memo. See if anything stands out to you:

(CEO Steve) Ballmer also talked about the company’s future plans, while detailing the functions that form the basis of Microsoft’s transformation — Engineering, Marketing, Business Development and Evangelism, Advanced Strategy and Research, Finance, HR, Legal, and COO.

Who knew Microsoft was evangelical? 

Am I Joining What God is Doing?

The growth and expansion of the Church is never tied to our comfort. The first expansion of the church in Acts came in a time of persecution. Philip found himself in Samaria (Acts 8) as a result of the persecution in Jerusalem. But persecution wasn’t a reason to quit. They kept proclaiming.

Philip was one of the “minor” characters of the Acts story that show those who make the way. He preaches to Samaritans, which were despised by “real” Jews. Revival breaks out. Then, he finds himself on an empty road while a coach makes its way toward him. There he encounters a true Gentile and preaches the gospel.

Two things out of Acts 8 stand out to me:

1. We have no idea about persecution in the Western Church. None. Zero.

We have people who don’t like us. We have people who disagree with us and might call us bigots. We have some rules and laws that make sharing faith difficult at times… maybe. But persecuted? No. And we have no idea.

Ideologies are shifting rapidly. Christian beliefs are being marginalized quickly, at a faster rate than I anticipated (although I did sense this shift about 11-12 years ago). But persecuted? We don’t know it. Will we? Maybe. But right now? Let’s not kid ourselves.

2. Philip is a great example of simply joining what God is doing.

Philip DID know persecution, and he kept right on proclaiming the gospel. Wherever he landed, he found God already at work. We sometimes have an erroneous belief that “God comes with us” in a way that really says, “I’m here, so NOW God is here, and aren’t you glad I showed up so good things can NOW happen?”

Let’s understand that we carry the presence of God, but God doesn’t “show up” when WE show up. What we need to see is that when we arrive at a place we will find God already at work. Us being in a particular spot is already an indication that God was at work before we got there.

Check the egos at the door, folks.

We are NOT persecuted… and we are not the great hope of the world…

Let’s join what God is already doing. Even if that road is tough and possibly lonely.