The Story of Mission pt. 1

I was reading an article today, posted by a gentlemen talking about how “Mission” had become, or was on track to become, the new “Legalism”.

This is not going to be some kind of a response, or commentary, or look into that article, with the exception of one point. As such, I won’t be linking it, though if you would like it, just ask and I’ll link it to you. All I really want to address is this idea that Mission needs to be a grande gesture, when, really, mission isn’t more difficult than making friends.

For when I am in the "Field"

For when I am in the “Field”

I am wrestling over this post, because honestly, I could go on forever about this subject. It is something I have looked at for the last few years and is a subject I am very passionate about. This is because the more I open my heart to Jesus and his calling in our lives, the more I am transformed by it and the more excited I become by it. Honestly, there are so many passages I could show you that have lit a great many fires under my ass but I think the best way to go about this is to share a couple stories from my own life, and then share a verse. So here are a some stories from “the field” of life.

Story 1

I used to work for a graphic arts company about 6 years ago. It was a small place and my first time getting a job in a field that I was interested in making a career out of. I lived so far away from the office, however, I needed to wake up at 4 am every morning just to get there on time. Disclaimer: I don’t drive, this was a big part of the problem. I had been having a really tough go of it with this job and one morning I had called in sick, simply because I just didn’t want to be there. Instead, I sat down at my kitchen table, unable to sleep and read through the entire book of Ecclesiastes and my entire outlook on work changed. Funny that God would use the morning I lied about my health and skipped out on work to then have me read a book about how anything worth doing is worth doing for him. Like I said, my attitude adjusted in a major way. I started reading my bible at work in the mornings, simply because it was the only time I could. It was just me, and our project manager, who really seemed to dislike me. In fact, he worked very hard to get me to quit.

One day I was shown an e-mail by a co-worker who should not have shown me a it. The e-mail was to my boss, from the project manager, and I was not painted in a very flattering light. Needless to say, I was pretty bummed. It was the end of the day, and I was leaving to head to bible study and I chose to use the time on the bus to pray about what I saw. While this was happening, another co-worker was speaking to the Project Manager about how poorly he treated me. On the bus, I prayed to Jesus and decided that I had two things I could do. I could confront this person, and get upset, or I could forgive them right there on that bus and let God handle it. I chose the latter. The next time I went into work, the Project Manager sat down with me and apologised, which gave me a chance to tell him that I had forgiven him in person. He told me that he felt I was genuine, and was thankful that I always said hello to him in the morning, and that I worked hard no matter how I was being treated (don’t let this fool you, I allowed my temper to get the best of me more than a couple times a that job), and that he noticed I read my bible each morning. He asked me if I could give him one to read as well. I was in shock, I was awed, and just so grateful to Jesus for getting to be encouraged like that.

Story 2

This is a much more recent story, and a bit shorter.

I’ve moved into a new house as recent as 3 months ago and none of my room mates are Christian. I like to leave my door open when I am home because I want my room mates to know that I am available to them, should they ever want to talk or hang out, I am there. I don’t expect anything more than just getting to hang out with them, which I love getting to do. One day, the room mate whose bedroom is across the hall came home feeling down and out. He sat on his bed and mentioned he had been having a rough day. At first I gave the expected, “That sucks, sorry to hear that.” and then went quiet. He sighed aloud and mentioned how bummed he was again. And I jumped into action. Actually, I gave pretty much the same reply, except even worse, “Man, that blows, but what can you do?”

Ouch.

Bear with me here...it's the only food picture I have.

Bear with me here…it’s the only food picture I have.

Luckily, God wasn’t going to let me get away with retreating into myself that easily and my room mate mentioned aloud for a third time how down he was. Getting the hint, finally, I offered to hang out with him in the kitchen while I made supper. We made our food, chatted, and ate together, before retiring to our living room with a couple beers in hand so we could just hang out and talk through life, death and everything in between. The subject of karma came up and I told him that I didn’t buy into karma all that much, but that if you are an open, honest and integral person, people will respond positively to that. I don’t know why I said this next part, but I did. “Of course, being a Christian, I find all of those things rooted in the identity of Jesus Christ.”

Wow…bit of a bomb to drop on someone.

Thank goodness my room mate is pretty chill. He asked me what I thought about Jesus and we had a healthy discussion about Jesus, and the bible and the death and resurrection. All because I left my door open.

I could go on.

There are a lot of verses I can give around the subject of mission. But I will save those for another day and just share a small one. 2 Corinthians 3:2-4 talks about how we are all living letters for God. Every time I have heard people preach on these verses, they always follow them up with the question, “What kind of story are you writing?” If you’ll pardon my frankness, but this is a load. We are not the authors, Jesus is the author and perfecter of our faith. We are the pages on which Jesus writes his story. It is on the pages of our lives that the story of God is written, and it is on the pages of our lives that his story is also read. The bible is filled with people being faithful to the promises and commandments of God, it is one of the reasons that we are encouraged by them, and it is one of the reasons we meet God in them. If we want people to meet Jesus, we need to do two things. We need to be open to be written in, and we need to go and be available to be read.

Discover your area of influence, be available there.

I’ll probably talk a bit more about this tomorrow.

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5 thoughts on “The Story of Mission pt. 1

  1. I agree with this, but I do struggle with one part, or maybe it’s me reading into the idea. I grew up in a home where my parents “made friends” with people so they could convert them. “Mission” and the “notch in the belt” mentality authored many false “friendships” in the name of conversion and Kingdom of God. Sometimes I think that the idea of Mission conveys some type of special meaning for ones life, when frankly, I don’t really think anyone has more meaning than the next. I would much rather have real friends to help me through my shit, and true friends aren’t necessarily always followers of Christ. I don’t think that I have a trump card when it comes to being a friend because I love Jesus. Maybe I’m off on a tangent. I dunno. haha. But I am listening to REO Speedwagon right now and that’s pretty awesome.

    • I know where you are coming from. Often it is pretty easy to view our understanding of relationships as very agenda driven. I am not a fan of entering into any friendship with an agenda. I want to know people and hang out with them for who they are, and I’d expect the same in return. Often my non-christian friends are better at listening to what I am dealing with because they don’t offer platitudes. This is something I am growing in as well. What’s cool is that God asks us to surrender whatever agenda we have to him, which leaves our relationships agenda free and room to just grow naturally without added pressures.

      I don’t think many of my friends would stick around if my goal was to convert them. I leave that up to God. But because Jesus is a natural part of my life, it’s likely I am going to express where he is working in it. When my friends want encouragement, I’ll give it, and if they want to know where it comes from, I’ll tell them. Like I said in the blog, if I want people to meet Jesus, I need to live openly and with people so they can see where he is working in my life.

      I’ve said it before, there is no “special” calling, there is only “The Call” and it is the same for us all. We all answer it in every facet of life.

      I’ve never listened to REO Speedwagon before. Actually, I say that, it’s likely I have, I just hadn’t realised it. Gonna need to check into some of their stuff 😀

  2. Good blog. . . I appreciated how you are processing over the question of “mission” here. It has become quite a loaded word the past few years, so it’s is important that we don’t allow it to get too far carried away.

    Also, the whole “friendship evangelism” thing is a little confusing, though important. I hear the same sentiments as expressed by the comment-er, but if we both consider someone a friend AND have the conviction that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life, then evangelism must be part of a friendship. Doesn’t mean you have to “cut them” if they don’t believe, but of course it will be part of a friendship.

    Thanks for blogging!

    • Thanks for taking the time to pop buy John, means a lot! I’ve been enjoying getting the chance to write these posts, they’ve certainly helped me process my thoughts. I hope to continue to hear your thoughts on them as well!

      • I agree. Maybe the most profitable aspect of blogging for me has been just that. . . sharpening my ability to communicate what God has put on my heart.

        Thanks brother and keep pressing forward!

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