Going through the book’s front matter, title page to introduction, I was quickly convinced that it was a good decision to read “Life on Mission”. Authored by Dustin Willis and Aaron Coe in 2014, it is divided in four major sections: The Big Picture, Gospel Foundations, Mission Practices and Ministry Steps. Each having four subsections, except the last section with just one. A Leader’s Guide is also included. I got the impression that a major objective of the authors is to guide or at least inspire readers to pursue his/her individual purpose, joining God on mission.
Section 1/Chapter 1 – The Big Picture/Everyday Missionary
This opening chapter sets the stage by making the point that the Great Commission is not for a select few; it is for the entire church. Ephesians 4 tells us that God has given leaders to the church in order to build up his people until they “become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ” – Ephesians 4: 13. We’re all called to be Everyday Missionaries, leveraging our lives for His glory by practicing a life on mission wherever God places us.
Our role as everyday missionaries is to, in our own way, introduce people to Jesus, help to disciple them to become like Christ, and teach them to repeat the process with others. Life on mission is about intersecting gospel intentionally into our everyday routines. “So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God” – 1 Corinthians 10:31. Three important points for reflection from chapter one are:
(1.) Ministry was never just meant for “paid professionals”- every Christian is called to make disciples.
(2.) Growing in knowledge about God through books, seminars and studying theology don’t equate to actual ministry and living on mission with God unless we are using what we learn in conversations with non-believers.
(3.) Understanding the biblical foundation of missions and ministry is essential. A weak gospel foundation can lead to fragile mission practices.
This chapter makes it clear that if you are a follower of Jesus Christ, your life has a mission. We all have been uniquely equipped to contribute to God’s mission.
Our individual missions are driven by the truth of the gospel and defined by the mission of God. Many Christians after accepting Christ, without a deliberate thought, submerge themselves in any and every ministry that would have them, until they find our fit. Still others struggle in this area, to find that “ministry” for which they were made, feeling insufficient. It will feel lighter knowing that playing our part doesn’t have a particular look or require a particular action but can be as unique as we are as individuals. It is about maximizing the gifts and abilities we have. Knowing this can be very liberating! Understanding that we can glorify God by doing His will wherever we are, whomever we are. This removes the unnecessary pressure we often place on ourselves. Indeed knowing God, His sovereignty and His love helps us to form the correct motivation for mission. He is the author, reason and the source.
What are your thoughts?
See you for Chapter 2 next week.
~ Garfield Miller, Missions Coordinator, Jamaica