Over the past few years in our church meetings we have been seeing that life together with God is all about eternity touching earth. When the fullness of God dwells in us, ‘abundant life’ is the outcome. Taking away all the mystical and weird notions people might have about eternity; the very heart of it is – ‘knowing God personally’. To simplify it further let’s go back to the very beginning. One of the main purposes of Adam’s existence was to be known by God and know Him in return; to share a walk with Him in the cool of the day and converse (two way) about how things were going and what God had in mind about seeing the earth managed. It wasn’t like a bad manager calling some employee into their office to bark at them and evaluate their performance. No fear, no pretense- just God and His people in constant fellowship doing things together.

In most of the teaching opportunities I get in local churches, ‘Life together with God’ finds its way into what I’m sharing, especially the ‘together’ aspect of life with God. Most people are comfortable with the idea of being with the church or at a meeting, but we don’t necessarily give much thought to why we do it in the first place. As children of God, the Father is interested in bringing us into knowing His heart and plans ‘together’ and seeing them done through the power of His Spirit. He taught us to pray and focus our hearts on “let your kingdom come, let your will be done”. So what exactly is our mission? What does the church look like on mission?

What is our mission?

I believe our mission, as seen in scripture, is three-fold.  While I have my own local church (Word of Grace Fellowship, Indiana, PA) in mind when I write this, I believe that it forms the drivers for every church regardless of the terminology each church uses. We were made and joined together to see the following three mission objectives met:

1. GLORIFY-  Mission unto God: Worship. (Rom 12:1-2, Ps 95, Eph 1:22, Col. 3:16)

We meet as the church to glorify Christ and worship Him simply for who He is, not for what we get out of it . The reciprocal blessing on worshipers who worship for that sole reason is seen in transformed lives and great experiences. But, the audience of our worship is and always should be only one! Jesus! If that is missing, we have lost the basis for everything else that the church is founded on. When we acknowledge Christ as the head of the church, we are drawn into real, authentic and fresh encounters with God through the power of His Holy Spirit and His Word. Worship stops being about songs, but a matter of God’s glory and worth on display in all aspects of our gatherings: word, song, exercising gifts of the Spirit, greetings, prayer, fellowship, meals etc….

2. GROW – Mission to the Church: Building/Nurturing the Body. ( 1Cor 12, Eph 4, Col 1:16-18)

We meet as the church to build up and nurture His body. We will discuss this in detail later in this post, but we must see that the church is full of individuals who have a daily life experience with God. This individual walk with God however, does not makes you the church. 1 Corinthians 12 deals with this issue in detail. It is essential to understand that any part of the body that is not used, wastes away. None of us would let any part of our body waste away, similarly we must see other believers we meet with regularly as vital parts of our body that we must nourish.

3. GO – Mission to the world: Evangelism, Discipleship and Mercy. (2 Cor 5:18-19, Rom 10:13-15, Rom 1:16, Matt. 28:18-20, Luke 6:35-36, )

Finally, we meet together to take the good news of salvation in Jesus to the ends of the earth. Jesus gave us this ministry of reconciliation. We make the appeal for people to be reconciled to God, Holy Spirit does the convicting, Jesus does the saving, and God the Father does the adopting. There are multiple examples of God proclaiming salvation in different ways in certain unique circumstances, but that does not absolve us from the commands in scripture to GO! The method and process you use to share the gospel is not as important as your willingness to be sent to the lost and share out of what you have received.

What does the church on mission look like?

The church on mission is every joint being fitted and knit together and functioning properly(Ephesians 4:15,16). This scripture shows us three hallmarks of the church. (Read 1 Cor 12) First, it takes every single individual, no one insignificant, no one  more significant . Secondly, we are not just fitted together but knit together. Just as a muscle and tendon are knit together to the bone; try separating the three and you’ve got a problem. We must see that what we do or don’t do affects other believers. We need to be actively interested in building each other up because that’s the only way we will really grow as God designed us; in community, not isolation. Finally, we all need to function properly according to the grace given to us (unique for each one). As a pastor, I need what each member of our church body provides when they function (encouragement, prayer, teaching, helps, administration, love, etc…) regardless of their age, gender, education, personality, background, etc.. because God in His wisdom graced this person with something I need and  we need at our local church to grow effectively. I know our church can still grow (just as any individual can) with just one exceptional gift or trait, but how lop-sided is that existence?

O God!!! open the eyes of our hearts to comprehend how amazing and valuable Your saints are. May we grasp more fully the hope of being called, and believe without doubt, the mighty power of God (used at Jesus’ resurrection) which is available to us. It’s You, Jesus!!!  You were given to us; your church, as our head having conquered all sin and death. You have the name above all names in creation. Fill us up with all that You are, that we may reflect You on earth as you planned.  (Ephesians 1:15-23 paraphrased in the context of this study).

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