On Mission for or a Mission of Jesus?
Dr. Kevin Shrum
Question: Are you on mission for Jesus? Or, are you a mission of Jesus? I would imagine all of us are a little of both. To be on mission for Jesus is to do what Jesus would do, say what He would say, and go where He would go – after the lost and needy hard and fast. To be a mission of Jesus means that we’re on the receiving end of things; it means that we’re needy for His ministry – that we are the mission project.
While even the saved person will always need to be ministered to by God, it is all too often the case that we live on the receiving end of ministry and never mature to be on the giving end of ministry. Too many Christians are willing to receive ministry, but all too few are willing to give themselves away in ministry. It’s called the 80/20 rule: 80% of the work is done by 20% of the people.
How does the believer move from the receiving end of missions and ministry to the giving end of missions and ministry? It’s called growing in Jesus Christ (1 Peter 3:13-17). It’s called maturity. The more mature a believer becomes the more they are willing to give themselves away for the cause of Christ; the less mature a believer is the longer they will remain as receivers and takers instead of givers and servers.
How can you move from the receiving end to the giving end of missions? How can you move to be on mission for Jesus and not just a mission of Jesus? The answer is what it has always been: 1) Bible study, 2) prayer, 3) service, 4) and fellowship with other believers. In addition, maturing in the faith means taking risks, along with sacrifice and dedication.
This is why missional and ministry involvement in and through your local church is essential. There are no ‘lone ranger’ Christians who go it alone. Maturing believers lock arms with other believers in giving themselves away for the cause of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The result of all of these tools and opportunities ought to be a maturing body of believers willing to give themselves away in glad evangelism and missions.
I prayer that you’ll join the growing number of givers and servers, moving from the category of simply taking and receiving to giving and serving. Every believer will always be on the receiving end of God’s empowering grace and power – we need God’s power and strength. But the best way to receive is to give. It is in the giving away of yourself that you find yourself and the life God desires for us to experience (Mark 8:34-38).