This is an article that I recently wrote for our church newsletter. I know that usually the posts on this blog are conversation starters, but I thought that this may start conversations in a different way.
If you’re familiar with the Great Commission, you know that Jesus did not tell part of his disciples to “go” and the rest to stay at home. And, by the way, God never intended for the Church to have missionary organizations. As we look in Scripture, we never see the Old Testament prophets putting together special committees or boards for missions. The Apostles never created a special society for missionaries. Through Christ on the cross, God provided a way for all of His disciples to be missional.
The fact of the matter is that God is a missionary God. Since Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden, God has never stopped working to reconcile the world to Himself. In the Old Testament He used Israel as a light to the world; nations far and wide heard about how God Almighty tore open the waters of the Red Sea and set His people free. He sent prophets to proclaim His word to the people. He gave special instructions on how aliens living among the Israelites should be treated and welcomed into the believing community.
The most definitive and powerful example of God’s missionary work can be found in the New Testament. “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” In Christ, God gave all humanity the opportunity to be in relationship with Him.
In order to proclaim this great news to the world, God sent the Holy Spirit at Pentecost to proclaim the Gospel through the Church. This same Holy Spirit works among us today. It is this Holy Spirit that really makes us the Church — the Body of Christ.
God is all about being missional. If the Holy Spirit (who is God) lives within us, this means that we are to be missional too! Through Christ, the perfect sacrifice, God has provided us the means by which we are to be missional. Just as Christ was missional, so should His Body be. Missions is the very essence of the Church. God does not want us only to have missionary societies, He wants the entire Church to be missional. Everything that we do here at VHCN should be pointing people towards Christ. God, through Christ and by the Holy Spirit, has already given us what we need to be a missional church. The question is, have we made ourselves available in our everyday lives? Dr. David Wesley once said, “The church is not a where it’s a who.” Are we being a missional, reconciling church?