Our vision for Mission
I tend to think about this great commission in 2 ways, in and out. I kind of imagine it like breathing. We breathe in – we receive from God and encounter Him, as it says – “I am with you always to the end of the age”, and then we breathe out as we turn our attention to serving the world around us – “go therefore and make disciples”.
Rather like the 72 in Luke 10 we are gathered and sent… gathered and sent, and during our weekly prophetic prayer meeting I had a picture of a ship with an anchor and propeller and was reminded that we both need to be rooted or anchored in God but also willing and able to move under the power of the Holy Spirit.
To me, breathing in is about our corporate worship and prayer. A place to meet God and be equipped by Him. But our worship is not a place to ‘lose’ ourselves or just for our pleasure and comfort. Our worship sharpens us for mission where the church becomes more aligned with God’s kingdom. We gather in to go out to be good news to all creation.
Through our worship we learn to be dependent on Holy Spirit. We gain boldness in using spiritual gifts, praying for healing, evangelism, sharing the love of the risen Jesus because we have experienced it. We can practice generosity in the world because we have experienced how generous God has been to us and we have a testimony to share.
John Stott said that “Preaching the gospel must be central to mission but it must be resourced by the power of the Holy Spirit” – Word and Spirit in combination.
Practically, I believe we need to invest in a number of things as a community:
- Invest in Worship – prioritise worship and encountering God in our services and prayer meetings
- Invest in Welcome – be willing to be part of a strong welcome team, practice hospitality
- Invest in Waiting – always pause to listen to Holy Spirit. Be expectant of encountering God. Be prepared to step out in the prophetic
- Invest in the Word – read the bible regularly and know our scripture so that we can use it
- Invest in Witness – celebrate the testimonies of others and always be willing to share what God has done for us and offer to pray for others whatever the context
- Invest in Works – pray for mission opportunities throughout the church community and support mission wherever we see it in action. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
- Invest in Wider community – actively listen to our community’s needs and be prepared to be a voice for the voiceless and sometimes take the lead on safeguarding, environmental issues, justice and peace in our community.
The church is the only society on earth that exists for the benefit of its non-members! And so, we must always be reaching out to those outside the church, but in order to be equipped for this, we must first know our identity and practice intimacy with God in order to have an impact in the world.