I have been preaching on the nature of the church for the past several months. One of the things I have said during this series is that I never want our church to become about one person. Well, unless that one person is Jesus. It is all about Him. One of the ways I am trying to deflect it from me is to have other people preach, even when I am there. Yesterday was one of those days. I had our Pastor of Family Ministries, Luke Rosenberger, preach yesterday as we continued in our series on the church. It was good for my soul to have time to sit under the preaching of God's Word. I wonder if many preaching pastors miss this aspect of grace in their life.
Luke's topic yesterday was the mission of the church. His main text was Matthew 28:19-20, when Jesus, the One with all the authority, calls His followers to make disciples. I really appreciated his wise words that most people are good at making disciples. Just not disciples of Christ. The illustration he gave was that it is easy to train our children on what sports team to cheer for (although, we did feel bad for his kids when he talked about his training them to love Michigan Wolverines). But it is true. It resonated with me. I have spent considerable time training my kids to love the Cubs, Indiana Hoosiers, and Notre Dame football. I was greatly convicted as to whether I have spent as much time with them discipling them to love Jesus. Let alone, someone else.
One of the things we talked about before his sermon was the aspect of that first word in verse 19, "Go." We often express the emphasis on going somewhere. But it is probably better translated, "As you go." Jesus is assuming that we will be going. He is assuming that we will interact with people. And as we are going out into the world, we should be seeking to make disciples. Our mission as a church is to gather on Sundays, but it is also to scatter as the church.
Missionaries are not just people sent overseas. It is the computer consultant who sits in a cubicle next to unbelievers. It is the mom who stays at home taking care of her children. It is the business owner who employs hundreds of workers. And it is the student sitting in Algebra class. All of those situations, and hundreds like it, are times when we are "going" to be a missionary for Jesus. How would it change the way you looked at your occupation if you thought God gave you that job to make disciples?