THINK LIKE A MISSIONARY
I would ask that you join me on a mental and spiritual journey. Forget all that you know about church and open your heart to look at church from a different standpoint. First, we want to consider Jesus, His mission, His method and His passion.
Jesus stated in John 6:38 that He came not to do His will but the will of His heavenly Father. His mission was to do the will of the one who sent Him. He submitted His life to someone else’s will and purpose. Jesus also had a target group. He said that He was sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. He came to seek and save that which was lost. It was His own people.
Jesus had a plan. In John chapter 3 the Bible tells us that Jesus left Judea and departed to Galilee. But He needed to go through Samaria. In Samaria he met the woman at the well and her life was changed as well as many others. Jesus had a plan and Samaria was part of His plan.
Jesus had a method. He talked to the people in parables. In Matthew 13:34, the scriptures tell us that He did not speak to the people without a parable. Why use parables? Because it was something the people would understand. He spoke to them in a language that was familiar and He used stories of things and people that were familiar to the people.
Jesus was determined to finish strong. When the time came for Him to be crucified, He set His face toward Jerusalem. He had a destiny and He was determined to meet it and to finish strong for the Father. He was a missionary, sent from God to a people foreign and strange. And He finished what He started.
If we are to think like Jesus we must begin to see ourselves as missionaries to our country. We live in a nation that is both post-Christian and post-modern. In many respects it is anti-Christian. Jesus said in John 20:21, “As the Father has sent me, so send I you.” We understand that Jesus was sent and so are we. We are the “sent ones”, called of God to go into the entire world. Our mission is to go in response to the urging and commandment of Christ. Our thinking must change from asking them to come church, to us going unto them with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
If we are to think like missionaries, we must understand that it is what Christ wants for the church and not what I want. We must understand that He is in charge and not us. We must realize and submit to the authority of Christ over the church; after all, He is the Head we are members of His body. He is the vine, we are branches. He is the Lord and we are His subjects.
If we are to think like missionaries, we must consider those whom we are trying to reach. For a long time this author resisted the idea of a target audience. However, Jesus had a target audience. It didn’t mean that He did not care for the Gentiles; later they would be grafted in. It simply means He focused on a particular group. Our nation is multi-ethnic and multi-generational. Lost is a broad term. We must be specific and allow God to add to the church as He sees fit.
If we are to think like missionaries, we need to learn to communicate the gospel in a way that is understood by our target audience. Sure the Holy Spirit does the convicting and draws people to Christ, however, we can make His job easier by communicating the good news of Jesus in a language easily understood.
We must consider ourselves as missionaries sent into a foreign land; a land that no longer holds Christian values and often times are hostile to the church. We should seek to understand those to whom we are being sent and develop a method or means whereby we can communicate the gospel in a meaningful way.
Finally, we must be committed to finishing strong. We must be committed to finishing our course, keeping the faith and finding our destiny in Christ. History is replete with stories of folks who started out strong, but fell by the wayside when the journey became too difficult or too prolonged. Let us be determined to finish our walk with Christ, not just settling in, but giving that extra kick at the end in order to finish strong for God.