The other day in Part #1 of this “Being Missional” series, we looked at the incarnation and some of its lessons to us as believers on how we are to be Jesus to the blind world around us. Yet, this theme of being Missional is not relegated to simply the incarnation of Christ, but is a drum beat throughout Scripture. We must also recognize that this drum beat is not simply a discussion on how to be a personal witness, but also a lesson for the church as a whole. Exploring Acts, John and Matthew we can see two more reasons for Being Missional; eyes to the blind; light to the dark.
Christian means: Incarnation of Christ (Acts 11:23-26)
This reality for us as a church is so vital to understand, because it re-sets our expectations of ourselves, of our lives, of our missions and let’s us see the macro-vision of God, rather than continuing in the micro-vision. Christian is more than a “religious” title, it is a formation of identity because we are saying when we claim to be “Christian” that we are a small replication of Jesus Himself. We are the incarnation of God to this dark world. We are the eyes to the blind. We purposely choose to take this on and it changes our lives in every way. It can’t just be something that’s practiced on Sunday and once and awhile everywhere else. It can’t be a minor reality, it is the whole reality. Will we fail? YES, but God gives grace in those moments. Yet, it redirects our very way of living because if we are in fact the incarnation of Christ, we are always on a mission field attempting to love the broken people around us, picking a particular group to focus in on and being the incarnation of Christ to them! It could be your engineering students, it could be the nursing students, in the future it could be the nurses, doctors, teachers, tradesmen or whomever you work with and for. Once we see ourselves as always missionaries, we choose our words, actions and attitudes differently.
Here’s something that might make people mad, but I think it’s worth exploring, even if you think I’m wrong. In order to do missional best, we must choose our people group and incarnate Jesus among them rather than the random evangelism blitzes that have been done and are continuing to be done. Jesus incarnated himself as a Jew, to Jews among Jews. He talked with Gentiles, and spent some time with them but his main focus was the Jews. Paul then felt the need to incarnate Jesus among the gentiles. Missionaries from our denomination choose Africans, Chinese, or whomever as the people group they desire to incarnate Jesus to. Why do we do it differently? Why do we try and bring the gospel to people we don’t know and can’t relate to and ignore the ones we are closest to?
“The church exists to equip and mobilize Christ followers to embody Christ’s mission…Mission is the difference between having an emotion and actually doing something about it” (Saccone, 2012)
The reality is that we don’t have a choice but to be on mission if we are to adhere to and hold to the teachings of Jesus, he calls us to be incarnational and he sends us.
We are a SENT People (John 20:21; Matthew 28:18-19)
David Bosch once said: “The classical doctrine on the missio Dei as God the Father sending the Son, and God the Father and the Son sending the Spirit was expanded to include yet another ‘movement’: Father, Son and Holy Spirit sending the church into the world”
We are sent into the world to incarnate Jesus. We should all have a different focus group tailored to how God has wired us. For me, it’s College Students. You are my focus group, this town of Oakland is my target area, God has sent me here to incarnate Jesus among you and your peers. Who has God been laying on your heart? What is your major in school? What job do you hope to have? That is most likely who God is sending you to and right now? Who do you spend time with that needs the incarnation of Jesus? Have you been living missionally?
We are a sent people. We are to be among those we are sent to and gently, lovingly share with them the amazing awesomeness of sight. We must be their Jesus experience, leading them to Him all the while. Describing Him, living as he would, talking as he would, loving as he would and showing them the healing for their blindness as he did for us!