Living on Mission Where You Are (Shift 4 of 4)
By Mitch Jolly
Shift 4: From Managing Projects to Leading Members
When we can make these shifts from needs to assets, from programs to domain engagement, from working for the city to working with the city, then we can then shift from being glorified project managers to actual disciple-makers of people to enter the fields because they are ripe for harvest!
It always seems like we are trying to recruit people to serve in a program or help do some special thing or serve in some ministry meeting another internal need.
I don’t find any of that in the New Testament. In fact, I find the opposite. The Church was simply on Jesus’ mission of discipling the nations beginning from their local church. Everyone preaching the Gospel and making disciples.
No doubt they had concern for order. Paul addresses order multiple times, but the order was needed because everybody was making disciples and people were becoming covenant members of the local church NOT because the church was the rocking new gig in town and folks needed to go check out what they had to offer.
What would it look like if we actually did Luke 10:1-12?
It might look like this mix of believing doctrinal truths and following it up with specific actions.
1 – The Lord Jesus sends His people out to do His work, and bring His Gospel to bear on places. V. 1
We are a sent people. Jesus has sent us all to obey His commission to disciple the nations from right where we live.
2 – There is more than enough work for everyone, so ask the Lord to send more workers. V. 2
We have to be a praying people, who use prayer. And as Piper said, as a “wartime walkie talkie” and not a “peacetime intercom”. So, we are to ask the General Jesus to send us more Kingdom warriors to get His work done.
3 – Believe that we are called to risk. Jesus sent them out as sheep among wolves. V. 3
This is a hard pill to swallow. Jesus sends us out to do hard things, in hard places, in hard situations. This scenario causes us to depend on the Lord.
4 – We are to depend on Jesus to supply what we need. V. 4.
5 – When we enter a work, stay and see it through, and don’t be afraid to consume all necessary resources to get the work done. V. 5-8.
It’s easy to flitter from one thing to another and from one church to another, chasing the most popular next thing.
Jesus tells us to enter a home and stay there. That would be a cultural expectation of their day in regard to hospitality. Folks would take in a traveling holy man as he worked and supply some necessities.
Jesus said that we are a holy people sent on-mission to receive what is supplied, so stay and get to work. As you get after serving and making disciples, give yourself to one thing and receive all that Jesus supplies to see the work through.
6 – Heal and preach. V. 9
The idea of healing here is repairing what is needed physically whether supernaturally or by natural means. That could be both/and or either/or. This one instruction could be the subject of a whole sermon.
But one way we’ve applied this is for the medical folks of TRC who go and serve where we work around the world. When these men and women apply their trade, they are healing just like Jesus said to do.
Then Jesus said to say, “the Kingdom of God has come near to you.” Those sent were to heal and preach.
We are to do both. Not one or the other. We are to do both.
Understand there are a time and place for the work to be completed, and in many cases, there will be some whose sole benefit will be on the last day the Lord will say to them that He sent Word of His Gospel, and they rejected it.
This instruction is not a quick-tempered angry response. That is not how Jesus dealt with unbelieving sinners. That is how Jesus responded to the cultural spiritual elites of the day, but not sinners. Jesus was gentle and truthful as some didn’t repent.
Sometimes we have to simply testify that the Kingdom has been brought near, and we have to acknowledge that it was rejected, and move on to other work.
Not one of us likes this, but it’s a missional necessity sometimes.
THIS is the kind of stuff pastors like to lead and mentor folks in doing, not managing another event. This is the stuff that gets the blood flowing, not putting on a bigger and better “thing”. We love to get after Jesus’ mission—with the whole church mobilized to make disciples.
So, as you come to these 4 key shifts to living on-mission where you are, evaluate and see if there is room for incorporating these shifts. If I can be of help, please hit me up!