Engaging in Our Mission

Every successful organization, company or church has a mission, a calling or reason for existence.

What happens when we don't actively pursue our mission? Allow me to use the story of David and Goliath, found in 1 Samuel 17, as a backdrop to the present day story of what many call "mission-drift."

1. Many leaders and churches today have mission-drift. Saul and the army had mission-drift. The mission of the leader and army is to defeat the enemy. They stood and looked at their mocking enemy. Many in society mock the organized church.

Some Seventh-day Adventists today are mission-discouraged, not engaged or even unaware about our God-given mission as found in Revelation 14:6–12. Because our mission is God-sized, when we try to "finish the work" with human innovation and wisdom alone, the result is often failure. This is a driving factor, I believe, in our anemic growth rate and continued loss of our young adults in North America.

2. Fear of failure paralyzes a church. The whole army was afraid to do anything and took no action for 40 days. Many churches today do nothing to advance the mission. The fear of failure paralyzes us and we stop trying. Apathy sets in. Too often we forget that, "we do not fight against flesh and blood, but against powers and principalities," evil forces bent on our eternal destruction.

3. Age is not the main issue in leadership. God told Samuel that "man looks at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart." The person could be young or old (think Moses), male or female, and ethnicity does not matter as long as the person's heart is devoted to God. All that matters is a heart surrendered to God so He can fill it up with His Holy Spirit.

4. It only takes one person, anointed by the Holy Spirit, who is fully mission engaged for the church to experience success. David stood up for God's honor. David engaged in the mission and God performed an amazing miracle by defeating Goliath by David's arm and sling. After his victory, the army found courage, engaged in its mission and attacked the enemy. David's example shows us what happens when one person partners with Jesus.

5. Intentional mission engagement encourages the church. Saul and the army were in a fight for freedom and life. Inaction, caused by fear, drained the army of courage. David, anointed by the Spirit, engages the enemy and the resulting victory inspires courage in the army. Intentional engagement in mission, in partnership with Jesus, will bring success and courage to our church.

Engagement in our mission is not an option. We need to actively pursue the accomplishment of mission to share God's love to inspire growth, encourage our members and motivate our youth. Pray for the Holy Spirit's blessing. Set a date for a monthly baptism service, engage in Bible studies, and involve members and youth in ministry. Partner with God to accomplish our God-given mission.

Pull quote: "Engagement in our mission is not an option."

November 01, 2011 / Editorial