Home > Blog > Mobilizing People for Mission [Part 1]

September 18, 2018

Mobilizing People for Mission [Part 1]

By Sam Hilton

It’d be great if everyone in our churches were natural evangelists.  It’d be great if everyone had the skills and confidence to lead everyone from “Hey” to saved.  But, the reality we need to work with as we plant and lead churches, is that most people are not evangelists.  Thankfully, this doesn’t have to be a hindrance to evangelism and mission. In fact, God has wired people in our churches differently, and gives us an incredible opportunity, if we can just re-orient how we see the church to how God sees the church.

Truths to Shape Our Thinking

I want to put forward three truths that need to shape our thinking:

  1.  People are lost and need Jesus.

If you are a Christian, that was actually you at one point.  As Paul says in Ephesians 2:4-5 , “God, who is rich in mercy, because of his great love that he had for us, made us alive with Christ even though we were dead in trespasses. You are saved by grace!” And each of us has a different story about how God moved us from death to life. For every person the common denominator is this: If it wasn’t for Jesus, and His death and resurrection, we’d still be separated from God. Everyone is in dire need of the salvation Jesus provides.

  1. Those who belong to Jesus are called to be actively involved in making disciples of Jesus.

This calling is the explicit call that we see Jesus making in Matthew 28 to go and make disciples of all nations. But, this calling is also the internal drive found in the Gospels to love those around us – to have God’s heart for them by wanting to see them come to life also. The Gospels provide the context for understanding where people are at with God and how that changes, as well as the motivation for us to be involved in their lives as God draws them to Himself.

  1. We are not called to do this by ourselves.  

We don’t need to do it by ourselves! We’re a body and each one plays a different role.  As Ephesians 4:4-6 draws out, we have unity in Christ. So, Paul says, “There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope at your calling— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all.” So, as we are united in Christ, we are to spur each other on toward maturity in Christ.

There are going to be different gifts within the body that work toward that goal. Paul identifies this diversity in Ephesians 4, Romans 12, and 1 Corinthians 12. It means some of us will be great evangelists and some of us won’t be, and that’s OK.  But, the conclusion from that isn’t that some are involved in mission and some are not. The conclusion is that we’re all going to be involved in building and growing the church, but we’re all going to be involved in different ways because we’re gifted and wired differently to serve one another.

Diversity in the Body of Christ

For those who lead churches and ministries, this changes how we think about, lead, and structure the body.

Our goal needs to be to mobilize and encourage the different parts of the body to work together on mission, while utilizing our different gifts and opportunities. We want to encourage people to be bold enough to speak about what Jesus has done for them, and we also want to help them have realistic next steps for their friends to hear the gospel clearly explained.

Now, this isn’t abdicating responsibility for sharing our faith.  It’s saying that there are some who are gifted in sharing the gospel in a public setting, and there are some gifted in making those public moments happen. There are also those who aren’t great at dealing with people’s defeater beliefs, but every week they bring someone to hear the gospel.  And, by working together – as one body – we can more effectively reach others for Christ.

These biblical truths are foundational and crucial for: caring well for those we lead,  helping them be on mission within their local context, and helping them be on mission in a deep and meaningful way, so that we can present Jesus to those who are lost; we want to see them, under God, move from death to life.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sam Hilton

Sam Hilton is the Missions Pastor at Hunter Bible Church in Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia.

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