Imagine for a moment your church gathered this coming Lord’s Day as usual, but this day would be anything but normal. Today the entire congregation –– everyone –– loads buses following the morning service(s). Passports in hand, you head to the airport to board as a group. Why? Your entire congregation is heading to a city in Asia where the gospel has never been proclaimed, to one of the largest concentrations of UPGs (Unreached People Groups) on earth. You decided as a congregation a few months back to do something adventurous, something quite revolutionary for your church, and the day is here.
Upon arrival in Asia your church begins to team up with nationals and missionaries to love and serve the city, sharing Christ at every opportunity. Children are loved, lives are helped, communities are changed, and the good news of Jesus transforms lives. After almost three wearying but gratifying weeks, your entire fellowship boards a jumbo jet and heads home, exhausted, jet lagged, but amazingly fulfilled. The gospel has been planted in this city, disciples have been made, and the church is growing.
Fast forward to Christmas season 2018. Through video uplink, your morning services telecast live the leaders of the church you helped to birth in that city. On this day, for the first time in the history of the world, a group of Christ followers wishes your church a merry Christmas. You were a part of making this happen.
Don’t you think that would energize your church? No doubt many lives would be changed.
Here is the amazing news. This coming Sunday your church can do the same thing. You do not need to board a plane to Asia to go on a mission trip. Every day believers across the United States awaken and step into the fourth largest unchurched nation on earth.[i] We live in a mission field.
Mission trips are a wonderful thing. I have been on many across the U.S. and around the globe. But what if you awoke every day and thought of life as a mission trip? What if you and I and every believer in the West took the posture of a missionary, and began to raise our children, approach our jobs, and look at our neighbors from the view of a missionary? It could be revolutionary.
Life is a mission trip. Take it! Cultivate that vision and begin to function like missionary. Give your life and influence to the making of disciples. Relive the book of Acts in your very lifetime. It will take a movement like that not only to reach the world, but also to reach the West.
Life is a mission trip.
Being a disciple of Jesus is not less than affirming doctrinal truths concerning God, his purposes in the world, and the gospel of Jesus Christ. But it is much more.
Following Jesus does involve worshiping with other believers in a local church for the glory of God, but it means being a living witness every day, not just Sunday. It means we care about the social injustices of this world, but we do so understanding the greatest injustice is the rebellion of humanity toward God, and the greatest act –– though not the only one –– the church can do about this is to live, and love, and share boldly with our lips, the glorious gospel.
A disciple certainly is interested in helping believers to grow deeper in the Word and to understand more and more how to live for Jesus daily. But a disciple also lives with a burden for those who have not yet become followers of Jesus.
Every day this year you and I will awaken with a variety of little missions to accomplish. Let them all come under the larger mission of advancing the gospel. Life is a mission trip. Take it, and start today.
[i] http://www.revivalandawakening.org/call.html (accessed October 18, 2008); http://www.ptwm.org/pages/ezines.asp?Magazine=REVIVAL+Magazine%3A+Seeking+the+Reviving+Presence+of+God (accessed October 18, 2008); http://www.reachamerica.org/about.htm (accessed October 18, 2008); http://www.baptistcourier.com/281.article (accessed October 18, 2008).
[Adapted from the Evangelism Handbook]