We’re here….now what?
OK—so we’ve decided to go where the need is. What do we do when we get there?
Well, we continue to follow Jesus’ example by accepting the person as they are and meeting their need with no expectation of anything in return. But this sounds crazy. How does this accomplish our mission?
When we meet someone’s need with no strings attached, we introduce them to Christ’s agape love. In no way do we do this to obligate, coerce, or guilt anyone into become a Christian, but rather we do this because Christ in us loves this person regardless of their position, status, or response. Through this experience of agape in their lives, they can begin to understand the love Jesus has for them. It is then Jesus begins a relentless and transformational knock at their heart’s door. This becomes the opportunity for us to share, and for them to accept, the message of the gospel.
Pastor and author David Platt offers a clue as to how this works in his book Radical. In it, he relays the words of a man he met on a relief mission trip to war-torn Sudan. Grateful for the supplies Platt and his crew had delivered, the man told him “A true brother comes to be with you in your time of need. David, you are a true brother.”
You see, before Jesus gave us the Great Commission he gave us the Greatest Commandments. He told us to love God with everything we are, then take that same love and show it to others. It’s this flow of agape that is the crucial second part to the fulfillment of our mission.
The truth is, we can’t fulfill the Great Commission until we have first obeyed the Greatest Commandments (see Matthew 22:36-40). If we try to do so, we wind up with an approach that on a large scale looks like the crusades, the inquisitions, and holy wars. On a personal scale it looks like condemnation and judgment. Without Christ’s love, we introduce a Jesus that resembles ourselves rather than the Son of God.
When it comes to accomplishing our mission, Jesus’ power of “agape” is the natural complement to his authority of “go.”
On Monday we will begin looking at the great distractions that turn our focus away from fulfilling our mission.
Live The Mission,