Matt Chandler, who pastors at The Village Church in Texas, gave this admonition to his congregation on Easter Sunday as part of his message entitled “The Call to Mission.” He wanted them to think about what the resurrection of Jesus means in how they live their lives. In other words, since Jesus didn’t just die for our sins but rose, what does it mean? It is a sharp but helpful point he drives home:
Ladies, how many Bible studies are we going to do, I am just saying, can we maybe run some of the plays instead of just studying them? Men, how many Bible studies we gonna do, how much you going to study before you start to play? I mean that’s what makes the thing so stupid down here. Everybody can talk it, nobody wants to engage anybody with it. Or at least very few of us do.
Why? ‘Well, cause I have a lust issue.’ Well OK, submit to Christ, get in recovery, and live on mission, it will reveal all that stuff, it will be horrible, God will just rip it out of you and replace it with His grace and mercy, it will be awesome in the end. I mean if you’re waiting till you’re perfect to live life on mission you’re going to die without much mission.
It’s coming! Do you get this? Do you get that 2000 years ago, in fact farther back than than He told Abram, “This is how it’s going down.” and it has stayed true to the line right up till now where a massive portion of Africa has become believers, a massive portion of China has become believers, South America blowing up with the gospel.
The gospel is penetrating the world, do you know how this ends? With you and me in front of Him with the Kingdom of God, new heaven, new earth coming down, no more injustice, no more pain, no more sorrow, God’s redeemed, God’s elect, God’s Kingdom, Kingdom of God, established! Now do you think anybody is going to give a trash how much money you have right now? How much comfort you have right now? Who’s cool and who’s not? Who drove what and who didn’t? Who was well liked in the neighborhood and who wasn’t? You think ANY of that is going to matter? No one will care! But a lot of people will be embarrassed.
Chandler points to the book “Total Church” where Steve Timmis and Tim Chester encourage people to imagine that they are a part of a church planting team in a cross-cultural situation in some other part of the world and answer the following questions:
- What criteria would you use to decide where to live?
- How would you approach secular employment?
- What standard of living would you expect as a pioneer missionary?
- What would you spend your time doing?
- What opportunities to share the gospel would you be looking for?
- What would your prayers be like?
- What would you be trying to do with your new friends?
- What kind of team would you want around you?
- How would you conduct your meetings together?
Chandler says their point is that we tend to think of missional living as something that just missionaries in foreign countries do instead of what we should all be doing. That is the challenge for all of us.