by Brenda Jank
You have been commissioned to participate in the Great Commission. So have I.
It’s the commission (“…go and make disciples of all nations…” Matthew 28:19) we are all aware of it, but few take it seriously.
Our fruit is meager.
Our guilt is real.
My daughter, Anna, at the ripe ol’ age of 6 nailed it on the head:
“Mommy, is the most important thing about being a Christian telling other people about Jesus?”
“Yes!” I announced. My internal dialogue kicked in. “She gets it! I’m doing a good job.”
My self-affirmation was short lived.
“Well then, (long pause) why don’t you do it very often?”
She called a spade a spade.
Anna had heard me “preach to the choir” a hundred times in her short life. But she was right, she had never once heard me share my faith with someone who did not know Jesus.
It was one of Jesus’ last words and it’s a word, a commission, that needs to be taken to heart.
It’s not about distance, however. Going overseas is not better than going across your backyard.
It’s all about love.
But love takes time and most of us live in the red. We “have no time.”
Programmed church activities are a great use of gifts and a part of our calling, but left unchecked they require enormous amounts of our “free time” – leaving little margin to commit to the time-consuming work of getting to know and loving another human being or family.
Programs don’t bring people to Christ. People bring people to Christ.
Programs are predictable (be there from 6-8 pm). People are messy and unpredictable.
Nine times out of ten, being a part of the Great Commission is about developing intentional friendships. It’s about taking the time to get to know someone. It’s about sharing life over the long haul, on the soccer field, at work, in your neighbor’s garage. It’s about earning the right and the opportunity to share your heart and ask life-changing questions. It happens quite naturally when love is established and the time is right and ripe.
It’s a matter of love, not obligation.
It takes time. It takes margin. Embracing the rhythm “Run hard. Rest well.” is a great place to start.
Who’s on your radar? A cousin. A co-worker. A neighbor.
Make love, with no strings attached, your aim. Set your sights long. Stay on your knees.
Want a game plan?
- Who is God laying on your heart? Commit them to prayer. If appropriate, invite your kids to pray as well. Include them in on the commissioning.
- Rest well.
- Pick up the phone, send a text, walk across the street, get together. Regularly.
Would you like to dig in deeper and join Jesus on an adventure of a lifetime?
- Purchase the book Joining Jesus on His Mission by Greg Finke. I buy this book by the case! Case after case! Don’t miss out. It is eye-opening, heart pounding, and transformative. Spirit-infused, God is using it to equip thousands of people to live on mission You can purchase the book and learn more here.
- If you are a pastor and want to be equipped to live missionally and stir the work of God in the lives of your people, be sure to check this out.
- Final two “takeaways” by Gary Cobb.
Understand that your own life is a great part of your witness. If my relationship with Christ isn’t vital, then I really don’t have a lot to share. People not only listen to your words, they look at your life. We still fail and aren’t always a good example, so our only hope is to come to God and surrender to Him. It’s nothing that we can do. It’s God’s work.
Realize that we earn the right to be heard by sincerely listening to others. Everyone has a story. You can’t just blunder into a situation and callously share without listening. The Bible says that Jesus was a friend of sinners. That’s our example—to be a friend, to listen to people, see where they are, and then play a role as the Holy Spirit takes them where they need to go.
Note: This post is part of our original series on rest. We are re-posting some of our favorite articles because we believe they are just as important today as ever. We hope to encourage and inspire you and those you love and lead to REST WELL through this time of COVID-19 crisis, comeback, and recovery. Onward!
- Would you like to start at the beginning and read this whole series? Click here.
- Would you like to read the post that preceded this one? Click here.
- Would you like to read the next post in this series? Click here.
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