Friday, January 27, 2012
A Question That MUST Be Asked
Has Mission Become Our Idol?Now THAT is one heck of an important question. It is one of my chief contentions that the idols the church must be most wary of are not money and fame, but the stuff of the church itself. His post opens this way:
“There is a first-rate commitment to a second-rate mission.” That is what Roger, a leader in global church planting, said as he looked at the rock climbers ascending a cliff in the Alps. Many of us called into ministry feel the same way. Rather than giving our lives to climbing a rock, building a business, or amassing a fortune, we are committed to what really matters; a first-rate mission--advancing the Gospel and the Church of Jesus Christ.Whether it's "mission" or "evangelism" or "growth" the same principle applies. And mos importantly, part of what makes it "second rate" is the fact that it IS our first priority.
But what if we’re wrong?
Roger spent decades serving Christ by planting churches on four continents. But after reflecting on his labors for the kingdom of God, his confession surprised many of us. “I’ve given most of my energy to a second-rate mission as well,” he said. “Don’t get me wrong. Church planting is important. But someday that mission will end. My first calling is to live with God. That must be my first commitment.”
We, our lives, are the the single most important element of any outreach ministry. Our lives speak more than our words or organizations or ministries ever will. Our lives can only be transformed in deep communion with the God that made us and forgives us, and transforms us.
I return to one fact over and over - there was something about Jesus that made him stand above the 100's of would-be Messiahs that operated in that region at that time. The resurrection certainly, but even that could be written off as a parlor trick unless there was something about Jesus Himself that made people want to believe its reality.
The Holy Spirit can give us that something, but only if we seek it. And then no ministry will be second rate.