The Church does a lot of really good things. Take a quick minute and try to think of good things that church does.
…Okay! Here’s what I came up with!
Worship, community groups, counseling ministries, weddings, funerals, kids programs, young adults programs, serving the community, preaching, teaching, discipleship, sports ministries, marriage ministries, senior adult classes, singles ministries, just to name a few. (I literally can’t think of anything else)
Now before we talk about the list, we need to discuss what the mission of the church is. Turn your bible open and take a look at Matt 28:16-20. This passage is famously known as “the great commission” and in it Jesus tells the disciples to go make disciples.
This is it, faithful reader. If you follow Jesus, this is your mission in life.
The reason we need to talk about this is because it is very possible for a church body to do a lot of good things and completely miss the mission. For example, what would happen if we only had worship through song on a Sunday morning? It would be a nice concert, but if the truth of Jesus isn’t mentioned at all then the mission isn’t being accomplished.
During the Apollo 13 mission, three astronauts were stuck in a barely functioning command module with low power, low oxygen, and few options. Gene Kranz, the flight director for the mission famously had the attitude “failure is not an option,” and he had this attitude in spite of a situation where a lot of experts believed these astronauts were not coming home. However, Gene was able to mobilize the people of NASA to focus on the new mission: Bring our people home alive. Amazingly, (history spoiler alert) everyone made it home safely, and the mission as a whole is a testament to what the human race can accomplish in spite of tremendous odds.
Now imagine what the church could accomplish if we had the same attitude about the mission that Jesus gave us. It can be so easy to get caught up in the “good things” that the church does that we can forget what the ultimate mission is, and I think a big reason that we forget about the mission is because a lot of these “good things” benefit us. Us being the church regulars.
But the more you look at the mission of Jesus, and the more you understand it, the more you recognize that the mission is less about the people that are already saved, and more about everyone else. We have been directed from the top to seek the lost and show them who Jesus is, and that needs to be the defining characteristic of any good church. Should we have opportunities for people to continue to grow in the church? Absolutely. Should we continue to have community groups that encourage people who have already accepted Jesus? Of Course. But all of these things need to a part of the mission, not aside from it.
Are you feeling like you don’t have the qualifications or skills to accomplish this mission? I would disagree. Everyone who follows Jesus has exactly what they need to carry out this mission no matter where they are. 1 Corinthians 3:16 says that we have God’s Spirit within us, and that is all we need. If God is for us who can be against us? And if we are for God’s mission, failure just isn’t an option, but it is also an impossibility. Can I get an amen?