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Intentional Mission

Sadly, most of us are accidental missionaries… we are slow to partner with God in the work of mission despite the eagerness of the loving heart of the Father, who desires that none should perish. Jesus commands us to partner with him in the redemptive work he is doing worldwide.

In Acts 1:4-8 we gain insight into how we can intentionally engage in mission.

“On one occasion, while eating with them, he gave them this command: "Do not leave Jerusalem but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit." So when they met, they asked him, "Lord, are you going to restore the kingdom to Israel at this time?" He told them: "It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."

Preparing for a mission involves;

1) Getting Ready!

Jesus encourages his disciples to “wait”. While they wait, they pray, study, and share stories with excitement that the risen Christ has promised them that their task wasn’t over. Fuelled by the memory that the task to which they were called couldn’t be prevented by the death of their leader, the disciples must have been so excited by what God had for them next. Jesus said they had been promised a gift – the gift of the Spirit – and they knew that Jesus was not a promise-breaker! As we prepare to engage in mission, we must realize that in the Holy Spirit, what Jesus has promised has been given to us. We do not mission on our own; we mission in partnership with the Holy Spirit. The way to align ourselves with the Spirit in mission is through praying for those we want to see enter the Kingdom of God. All this helps us get ready for the mission.

2) Focus your Aim!

Interestingly, in verse 5, the disciples still have a distorted picture of what Jesus will do. “Are you going to restore the kingdom of Israel?” they ask. Jesus responds by pointing to a bigger mission to which the disciples are to give their lives. It is not to rebuild the Kingdom of Israel but to build the Kingdom of God. Too often, we get caught up in ‘pseudo missions.’ We think the mission's purpose is to grow a Church, ensure its survival, or increase its budget. But mission in the Church does not organizationally equate to the sales division of a business. God invites us to build the kingdom… and church growth is a secondary benefit. As we prepare for the mission, let’s be clear about what we are doing – following the King as he establishes His kingdom.

3) Empowered to Fire!

The final preparation is to let the Holy Spirit empower us to engage on the mission field (See family, workplace, neighborhood, and your friendships as a definition of the mission field!). Most of us are rather timid when talking about who Jesus is. We are quick to try and justify reasons why we shouldn’t rather than why we should. The Holy Spirit empowers us to act, speak, and invite people to follow Christ. Introverts such as me don’t have the personality to speak boldly for Jesus without the power of his Holy Spirit. As you engage in mission, let the Holy Spirit give you what you haven’t got… and work with the Holy Spirit to take the unbelievably great news of Jesus around the globe.

Mission more!

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