Home > Blog > Mobilizing People for Mission [Part 2]

September 29, 2018

Mobilizing People for Mission [Part 2]

By Sam Hilton

To read Mobilizing People for Mission, Part 1, click here.

In Part 1, I laid some groundwork for beginning to think through mission and evangelism from a whole church perspective.  This isn’t to cut off encouragement for each Christian being able to share their faith, rather facilitating more opportunities to do this in more ways by leveraging the gifts of the entire body.  But, underlying this approach is still the assumption that people want to share the gospel.  

In the next few articles, I will discuss the three C’s of building a culture of mission: conviction, connection, and competence. We’ve found that most of the hurdles to building a culture of mission within your church can be located in these three areas.  Let’s start with conviction.

Compelled by Conviction

Conviction is the thing that drives all of our behaviors as Christians. If those in our church are just talking about Jesus because they think they should, then they’re dangerously close to religion and will quickly give up or become proud about their religious efforts.  So, we need to build in ourselves and those around us a deep conviction around the gospel.

  1. We need to be convinced that God deserves to be worshipped.  

In Colossians 1:16 Paul says all things have been created through Jesus and for Jesus. That is, your work colleague is created by Jesus and for Jesus. And, so as long as she is not worshipping Jesus, she is not giving Jesus what He deserves. He deserves her worship and praise. So for us, and for those we lead, we need to keep nurturing in people the same Spirit that caused Paul to be greatly distressed when he was in Athens in Acts 17 because the city was full of idols and worshipped something other than the Creator.

  1. We need a firm conviction that there’s both heaven and hell.   

That is, that the new creation is a guarantee and not a pipe dream and, at the same time, acutely aware of the reality of hell.  So, while most Christians believe in the new creation, we often don’t live as though that is true. Our people need to be convinced over and over again that new creation is truly better than this creation. And, without that, there is very little motivation to tell people about the One who can secure this reality for them.  

On the flipside, we can often be afraid of talking about hell for fear of being too “judgey.”  But, if there is no heaven and no hell, then it doesn’t really matter, right? It means Christianity is a crutch to get us through this life, and we’re not being saved from anything. There’s no hope for the future, and there’s no ultimate justice in our world.

3. We need to teach people to see the world as God sees us.

In 2 Corinthians 5:16-17 Paul says. “So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” We are either in Christ and therefore new creations, or we are outside of Christ and in desperate need of salvation.  

Unless we see our workmates, friends, school-gate connections, and acquaintances through the lens of the gospel, then we simply won’t speak about Jesus.  We won’t be willing to spend our social capital. We won’t be willing to take a risk with the connection we have made in the community. We must be captured by the glory of God, must grapple with the reality of the new creation and yearn for it, must be confronted by the reality of hell and judgement, and must see ourselves and the world through the lens of grace.

How to Build Conviction

But, the question is how do we build this conviction for those we lead?

  1. We must make these truths evident in our preaching. We need to join the dots of these convictions in our preaching, and keep reminding people of these truths when we open God’s Word.
  2. These truths must be part of the narrative of our leadership. That is, it needs to soak into our vision, mission, strategy, planning, structures and conversations. We need to drip the urgency of mission from the senior pastor to the leadership team, to the elders, to Bible study or small group leaders, and to key ministry leaders.
  3. These truths must be weaved into the fabric of our church. Explicitly show people why and how mission drives everything we do as a church. Explain to people why we do some things and not others. Have these truths infiltrate our small groups and team meetings.

So, as we think about building a culture of mission, the first thing we need to consider is how we build biblical convictions within our church that nurture of a culture of mission.

 

 

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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