Today at church we’ve been talking a lot about pioneering ministry. This morning in church, the question was asked “Who here thinks that they can be a pioneer for God?” This evening, we commissioned the new team in our church who will be working with The Lab, an experimental young adults church that has been birthed out of St Paul’s, and is headed up by James Henley, our associate pastor. And since I got home, I’ve been thinking about the pioneering ministry and being commissioned. Here are my thoughts:
When the question about whether any of us thought that we were a pioneer for God, I asked whether the ministry that I’m doing is actually pioneering. Should it be pioneering? Pioneering talks about exploring fresh ground, it has an element of being off the wall, it involves risk taking. For a moment, I thought, “Nah. I’m not a pioneer!” But that’s when it struck me… if anyone is to go after God’s own heart in mission, then that person by nature is a pioneer for Christ. I mean, for proof of that, you only have to look at the Salvation plan! What a perfect pioneering solution to the problem of the world; the pioneering missionary God would come and take human form in order for us to be reconciled to himself. Amazing pioneering…
And so whenever we take the message of Jesus out to the world, you will find that when you talk about Jesus to someone, every person and conversation is unique. Which means you have to think of new ways and ideas that will get the gospel message across to that person in the most efficient, easy to understand, individual way. Is that pioneering? I think it is…
Guys, there are millions of books out there on evangelism. And I bet you’re thinking at this point that I’m going to give my book reccommendation. Well, I’m not. For too long, people have been writing books on the A,B and C of mission and evangelism. They’ve been giving ‘practical advice’ on how to approach someone who doesn’t know Jesus yet. And you know what, I understand that some people get frightened about mission. Man, even Jesus got frightened about things. I understand that some people don’t feel like they’re a great speaker and all that. But does mission mean publicly speaking and being the stereotypical evangelist? No it doesn’t!
Christians forget all too easy that once you come to know Christ for yourself, the Holy Spirit comes and dwells in you. I know books on evangelism are useful, and I admit that I’ve read a few books on evangelism myself. But in one sense, why the heck do you need books on evangelism and mission when you have the worlds greatest ever pioneering missionary living right inside of you?!
Do you see where I’m coming from? Put your faith and trust in Jesus, and he will tell you what words to say, he will prompt you on how to handle a situation. He will tell you how best to serve those around you. You will probably be thinking that that’s all very well, but sometime I mess up. Yeah, that’s probably right, and you will. But we’re placed on this earth to join in the fun and give things a go. It doesn’t mean we’ll always get them right! God loves it when you just trust him. And when you fall, he loves it even more when you dust off your knees and get back on the pioneering missionary job. He delights in you when you do that, because he sees how much you care about him and the creation that he has made.
One final thing. Think over these words said by Jesus, (Matthew 28)
Then Jesus came to them and said,“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 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, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Jesus command is to go and make disciples. He commissions the disciples to go and make more. In other words, to tell the world about Jesus and his cross. But notice that Jesus doesn’t tell them one set rule of how to do this. In fact, he doesn’t give any instruction in that department at all. What point am I trying to make?
The point I’m trying to make is that mission can be anything you want! Obviously, it goes without saying that it’s only mission when you’re being salt and light and telling people about Jesus and his message whether that’s by your deeds or words. So anything from taking someone out shopping to explaining the gospel, from making cakes to giving someone a listening ear, or inviting them to church is all mission.
Please take heart and be encouraged! You don’t have to be an amazing international speaker to be able to do mission and evangelism! It’s the same Jesus living inside of you who’s living inside of that first rate Christian celeb. Jesus has called us all as his children to join in the fun in making his name known among the nations. And he gives you full permission and authority to share that message in whatever way is comfortable to you. Jesus is the pioneering God, and when he comes and dwells with in you, his beloved child, he passes on the pioneering, missional gene on to you. What you do with that gene is entirely up to you. But my hunch is that you have one really special gift or talent that you can use to His glory and bring others to know the amazing God that you love, serve and worship.
Are you scared by mission? What talent or gift do you have that you use to bless others and share the gospel? What’s your opinion on pioneering ministry? Share your thoughts below!
Dean is a Minister in the Anglican Church. Currently he is Curate in the parishes of Bedwas, Machen, Michaelston-y-Fedw and Rudry in South Wales. He was born and bred in Wales, is married to Megan, and has two dogs called Taliesin and Melyn, and two cats named Sinsir and Hâf. He graduated from Cardiff University with a BA Hons. in Theology & Religious Studies, and has studied for an MA in Theology, Ministry & Mission at Trinity College Bristol. He also holds a Cert.RSCM from the Royal School of Church Music. He loves playing music, walking, reading, blogging and horse riding as well as going to the cinema and theatre.
Read More @ http://deanroberts.net/about
God needs to get his act together. He depends too much on mortals to spread the word of his dad. One bestseller and then nothing. Not good enough.
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