On Mission: What does it mean?

I have always had an uneasy relationship with 'mission' and 'evangelism' - which is ironic, as I now work for a mission organisation, but hey. What I mean is our own mission, our personal mission field... I would probably find it easier to move to Africa and become a 'missionary' than I would bringing my next door neighbour to Christ (everyone loves a label, right?!)!


I vividly remember in primary school when, having said I went to church, a friend of mine said "yeah, but you don't actually believe it, do you? You just go because your parents go." On that day, nine years old, I may as well have been Peter sitting at the city gates - "oh yeah, of course, I don't believe it, they make me." I flushed with embarrassment, then guilt. Because I did believe it, I always had, I think I knew I always would.

And there began a journey of hiding my faith and playing down my commitment. It probably wasn't until college that, after joining the C.U. and gaining a good group of friends who shared my faith, did I begin to tell non-believers that I went to church. It did become easier to have those conversations, and to freely say that that is what I did and what I believe - but still I find it hard to invite others into finding out more about Jesus.

Now, many years later (I dread to count!), I am faced with a different set of 'mission' problems. The majority of people I spend time with already know Jesus! Amazing how working for a Christian organisation tips the balance, right? So I have to really think, if my life is my 'mission field', where's the plentiful harvest that Jesus talks about?

Well firstly, let's define the mission!

We're all on a journey. Some of us might have made a personal decision to follow Jesus, they might call themselves a 'Christian', they might be 'saved', whilst some may never have heard about Him. And that's OK. Our job is to point people towards Jesus, but only He can save - and we can do that whether they have a relationship with Jesus or not.

The mission is not getting as many people as possible to say a salvation prayer, sending them on their merry way and giving yourself a pat on the back for rescuing them from eternal damnation.

Just because someone is a church goer, or a 'Christian' it doesn't mean that God can't use you to have an impact on their life. Maybe they don't know Jesus like you do. Maybe they haven't trusted God with a certain area of their life, and you can lead them into that. Maybe they need encouragement or provision and God can use you to fulfil that need. So yes, even if every single person you meet is already following Jesus, you can still point them towards heaven and be used by God on His mission.

Secondly, look around you.

You would be absolutely amazed at the number of people you mix with on a daily basis and the opportunities that God places in your way. I can sit here thinking that I don't know anyone who hasn't met Jesus yet, but if I actually just made a list from this weekend alone I could probably reach over 10 - Starbucks baristas, the Big Issue seller, church visitors, school mums at birthday parties... I could go on. Who do you see on a regular basis?

  • Got a coffee habit? Make a point of frequenting the same coffee shop and chatting to the same baristas. 
  • Buying your lunch? Avoid self-service and strike up a conversation with the cashier. 
  • School gates? Don't rush away, but get to know the other parents, walk with them. 
  • Buy yourself a Big Issue, but stop for a chat and find out about that person's life. 
(Side note: Even introverts can do these things, trust me!)

Be intentional, create space, put our phone away, slow down, and let God do the rest.

The opportunities are there.

The problem is I so often miss them! I am rushing, or I'm too shy, or I assume that someone won't want to hear what I have to say, or I ignore the nudging of the Holy Spirit and then the moment is gone. And yet I have this secret, this amazing secret, that surely if people knew - like really knew - they would want it too?

Jesus, I pray for myself, and for anyone reading this, that they would grow in boldness to share you with their world. I pray that we would notice the opportunities that you place in our paths, I pray that we would slow down long enough to seize them. Give us eyes to see who in our world is hurting. Give us ears to hear what they're really telling us when they share their hearts. Help us live lives that point towards you daily. Help us to be people who exude your love, your joy and your peace. May we never assume that people won't want to know. Use us in our days. Amen.


Photo by Paz Arando on Unsplash

1 comment:

  1. Only too true for a lot of us. I'm working on it, Lord. Please help me with it. Want to do better. Thanks for being bold enough to admit your failings, Emily, so that others know they're not alone. X

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On Mission: What does it mean?

I have always had an uneasy relationship with 'mission' and 'evangelism' - which is ironic, as I now work for a mission orga...

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