There is a concept brewing in my head that while it sounds like what we should have been doing all along and while I can’t really see yet what it will look like it for some reason feels right to me. In my head right now in this moment it just seems to ring true.
What if instead of missions being something we did in the short term or even something that we teach as a lifestyle it becomes the focus of everything we do? What if we change our ministries into missions training grounds? What if every lesson, every worship song, every activity, game, hang out time, fellowship group, messy game, or whatever all focused on one goal to take the message of Christ around the world?
We speak a good game talking like that is the focus already, but in my heart I know that isn’t true. We speak like missions are our heart, but if you really tracked how many opportunities we give people to do really meet the needs of hurting people around them and put that with how many hours we spend throwing Jell-O at each other the numbers would make us cry. And those groups that don’t play games and are always “serious” aren’t doing much better only they aren’t having as much fun.
We have traded missions for Bible study and being out on the edge with the gospel with being in situations we can control. No wonder our students don’t witness to their friends or reach a helping hand out to them we as their pastors aren’t modeling it for them. We spend all of our time planning meetings and forget to spend time reaching out and helping those who can’t help themselves. Or at least I know that is true about me.
Somehow we must turn the focus of our ministries back to evangelism. We must find a way to incorporate sharing the love of Jesus into all that we do. I think I heard Erwin McManus say that sharing with others needs to be like breathing. We breathe in the truths about God from Bible study and the presence of God through worship and we breathe out the love of God in missions. (or something like that) This is how incorporated sharing the love of God must be into our ministries. None of us could breathe in forever without breathing out. And in the same way our ministries can only breathe in for so long before we stop taking in any more.
I believe that the church today and (I know this is true for my small group of students) has stopped learning more about God and stopped growing deeper in our knowledge of him not because we have run away from teaching or from time in the word, but because we have forgotten to breathe out the love of God to the hurting world around us.
The problem I have right now isn’t that this is true. The problem I have is that I can’t see a way to get out of this. I can’t see a way to change it. But I know this. I don’t want to keep going on like I am doing things the right way. There must be a shift. I’m open to suggestions.