Make Your Life Your Mission and Your Mission Your Life
Matthew 28:20 and 1 Cor 9:19-23 (especially The Message version)
PART I – Matthew 28:20
Therefore go and make disciples…
Which of the verbs is in the indicative? We think it’s “go”, but it’s actually “make” that is indicative in the Greek. That means that the directive is not to “go”, but to “make”. The sense is more, “As you are going on your way, make disciples”. This changes everything! We don’t have to be a missionary to live out God’s mission of making disciples.
St Francis: “Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary, use words.” This doesn’t mean words aren’t important. It just means that we need them to enhance our actions, rather than take away from them.
Portuguese saying when someone is saying one thing and doing another: “Your life speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you are saying!”
Make your life your own mission and your mission your own life. Make your home your first mission field. Make work your mission. When you go to Starbucks or Walmart, make those places your mission.
John Wesley: “I look upon all the world as my parish.”
Divine appointments will happen as we live life. As we go on our way…
PART II – 1 Cor 9:19-23
Don’t spook the cows! (ask me to explain this to you 🙂 )
Paul became all things to all people so he might save some. The Message says, “I didn’t take on their way of life. I kept my bearings in Christ – but I entered their world and tried to experience things from their point of view.”
Evangelism is about good news. (There’s no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus. The new has come, the old has gone. We’ve been forgiven! God became a human to show us how to live so that we could become like Him. This isn’t fear, manipulation, control, a tyranny or dictatorship. Jesus asked questions like, “Do you want to be well?” The theme of the Bible is, “Choose life!” and “This is the way. Walk in it.” Good news.
Evangelism requires respect. Don’t spook the cows. Imago dei (image of God) – everyone is made in God’s image. People need friendship – they are not projects. It’s not our job to change someone or get them in the Bible study we want them in, at the church where we think they belong, etc. This is OUR will. Our job is to be a channel for Jesus to love others and do God’s will. Be present/observe/listen.
Evangelism flows naturally from who we are. We can’t be like anyone else. I see a lot of great gifts in other people and I want them for myself, but God made me me. God works with our particular likes and dislikes, talents and weaknesses, interests and disinterests. I’m to be the most authentic, true, best me I can be. Why are 12 step programs so successful? They’re built on honesty. The church needs to learn from this and take off our masks to be real with God, ourselves and others. This is an identity thing.
The same professor who taught me, “Don’t spook the cows,” also taught me that 80% of ministry/evangelism is just showing up. Your friend’s pet died? Send a card. Your neighbor lost his job? Tell him about job openings and offer to look at his resume. Your cousin is in a hard spot in her marriage? Just listen. Don’t spook her – don’t ask too many questions… pray and ask the Holy Spirit when/if/how/what to speak.
We don’t need to make this complicated. As you go on your way… make your life your mission and your mission your life.
Fabio and Johnna