People often talk about Mission Statements.
Often people have used Matthew 28 as the Churches Mission Statement: “Go into all the World and make them my disciples”, there is good reason for this, after-all in Matthews Gospel they are some of the last recorded words of Jesus. It is an interesting verse, firstly it is active, ‘Go’, interesting we have changed it to a more passive ‘you can come to us if you want too’ -interestingly most evangelism involves inviting people onto our turf, rarely us going to them… Its a world wide call, its a call beyond the familiarity of our comfort zones (an old proverb says “you will never know what you may encounter until you have the bravery to loose sight of the shore”). It is a call to go beyond ‘getting a scalp’ or getting someone to ‘pray a prayer’ -make disciples is a very different term from making a convert, discipleship is ‘in it for the long haul’ seeing lives transformed to become more Christ-like whilst also becoming a discipler of others.
Instead, I think that Jesus’ Mission Statement for himself and his disciples (which includes us as well) comes from the Lords Prayer, when it says “May your Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven”.
When we unpack this, Kingdom coming is about the King being on the throne and reigning, in other words it not only an acknowledgement of Christ, but a surrendering to him whilst following him in obedience. When we think of what is grown or present in heaven, we realise it is very different from the world we have become used too. A good question to ask about most things is ‘will it be in heaven?’, if God doesn’t allow it in heaven, what’s my reaction to it here on earth? Jealousy, conflict, squabbles, pride and vanity wont be there but it is amazing how much this insecurity stuff drives much of what happens here on earth but has no place in an eternal Kingdom, just as the latest stuff may really matter to our world now but has little or no eternal value… Yet we are called to be ambassadors of this new Kingdom which we are called to usher in, to live as people of that Kingdom, as aliens in a foreign culture in this world…
It is a calling to shout to the world a protest that is shouldn’t be this way, and it doesn’t have to be.
Christians are to be the protest voice that points to a new and better way, a way that existed from the beginning, the way we were created to be… Walking in the light, walking God’s way.
Living generously in a stingy world.
Listening in a world than never stops talking.
Being compassionate in a hard-hearted world.
Praying in healing in a broken world.
Speaking Truth is a dishonest world.
Being just in an unjust world.
Living as lights in a dark world.
Lord Jesus, let your Kingdom come on earth, here in my local area, as it is in heaven. Amen.