Yesterday, a young woman came to our church to tell us about how God is calling her to go to Ireland as a missionary. She’ll be working for a pastor of a church plant as his Administrative Assistant. It sounds strange that Ireland with all its rich history in Christianity would need a missionary but who am I to debate God on where he wants his people to go. In listening to her I could hear the affection she has for the people of Ireland and smiled when she talked about how God’s going to put her organizational skills to good use in her new position.
It’s as if God were putting flesh onto the sermon we had just heard about the Great Commission. The preacher passionately expressed that Jesus commands ALL OF US to GO and make disciples. He explained that we are already going…going to work, going home, going to the store, going to school, going to all kinds of places and as long as we are going, we might as well take Jesus along with us because he’s already there anyway. The mandate to GO doesn’t mean we all have to buy a plane ticket, charter a bus or boat to obey. We just have to go where we are already going and work with the talents and abilities God gave to us to further his kingdom where we are.
I have a friend who is touring Israel right now. Last week he posted a picture on Facebook of the beach on the Sea of Tiberius and commented “This is where Jesus told Peter, ‘Feed my sheep.’ What is your God-given mission?” I replied, “To rejoice with those who rejoice, mourn with those who mourn, encourage all and write the words he gives me to write.” In my heart and soul, I know that this is God’s plan, God’s mission for me. I don’t have to learn a new language or move away to a foreign country or adapt to new customs and traditions, so sometimes I’m fooled into believing that I’m not doing enough. I’m not really spreading the Gospel because I’m not halfway around the world dedicating my life to the sick or building a schoolhouse in a newly discovered African village.
God went through a lot to make me just the way I am, delicately balancing talent, experience, healing and growth so that we can work together to further his kingdom in a very precise and unique way. I didn’t pick my mission or my mission field—he did. Who am I to debate God on where he wants his people to go? My only job is to GO—to follow his lead and work with him to complete his mission of bringing reconciliation to his creation.
So what’s your mission? Where are you going today and are you going with Jesus?