How to Ask the Right Questions

by | Dec 21, 2021 | Missions | 9 comments

Mission Questions: What is the Mission?

In my earlier post, I shared EquipUs’s goal of establishing healthy communities of faith. I also mentioned being a fan of I, Robot (see cover photo) and Detective Spooner’s instruction to ask the right questions. We then looked at a series of questions that need to be answered. This series of posts is about answering those questions, but it can also serve as a guide to learning to ask the right questions. Why is that important? Right questions lead to right answers!

As Christians, or as a Christian mission organization (EquipUs), is there a model to follow? We should always look for previous success where our questions are concerned. What are the possibilities for identifying a suitable model? We could list several:

  • The Apostle Paul
  • Mother Teresa
  • William Carey
  • Hudson Taylor

These and many more were successful Christian missionaries. Is there a better model? Yes! Surely I’d get no disagreement if I said Jesus was the best model. Why would I say that? There are at least two reasons:

  • He was perfect in all His ways, therefore without error or sin
  • He defined His own mission

Mission Questions: What Was Jesus’ Mission

At the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, He defined His mission. It’s interesting to note where and how He did it. First, He did it in church. Well, it was the synagogue, but it was His normal place of worship. How do I know that? The synagogue was in Nazareth and that’s where Jesus grew up (see Luke 4). So it was in the very routine setting of weekly worship that Jesus stood and read from the book of Isaiah:

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives and freedom to prisoners; to proclaim the favorable year of the LORD…

Just so you know, that was the verse God used to call me, as a 17 year old boy, into His service and ministry. Jesus stopped reading in the middle of that second verse. There is a whole lesson there because the end of verse two has not yet happened. But what He did read defined and described His earthly mission as He lived in human form.

My next question may stretch you a bit. But in some form it is probably already in your thinking:

That was Jesus’ mission. How is it a model for my mission?

Would it help you if I pointed you to Ephesians 5:1? There, Paul tells believers to be imitators of Christ, just as children imitate parents or other adults. That should be enough, but some might need a little more to make the connection to Jesus’ mission. Would it surprise you to know Jesus Himself gives you and me that same mission? Don’t think so? Look at John 20:21 –

As the Father sent Me, so send I you!

Mission Questions: What is My Mission?

Your mission, my mission, our mission is rooted in Isaiah 61:1-2a because that was Jesus’ mission. That’s it, but there’s more. Jesus’ statement in John 20:21 means our mission is whatever we see Him doing as we read His Word. He literally gave the totality of His mission to us. The thing is, He didn’t change it first or dumb it down so we could handle it. And there is a reason for that, too!

Jesus said apart from Him we can’t do anything. His Spirit, His power, and His love enable us to represent Him to the captives, to those who need good news, and those who are brokenhearted. It’s a big mission. But in Him and through Him we can accomplish it in His name for His glory!

In a later article: Asking more of the right questions!

Soli Deo Gloria! 

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Questions or comments? Connect with Keith via email.

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9 Comments

  1. John

    We have a lot to do in 5 short days in the D.R. with minimum help…. but he has a plan for all of us to accomplish what HE has in mind….. not what we want

    Reply
  2. Jackie

    This is my first mission trip, And obviously I don’t know quite what to expect. All that I know I can bring for sure Is love unconditionally and my experiences from where the Lord has brought me.

    Reply
  3. Pete Carter

    The mission, Jesus’ mission and my mission are all the same: to reach the whole world with the love of God. The challenging part is discovering how one fits into the global plan of this mission. Some times people look at others and formulate a mission for themselves not realizing that they have not been called to carry out the mission in the same manner. Some of the great missionaries had a specific call on their lives to fulfill “The Mission” in a specific way; a way that has been uniquely designed and fashioned for them. As believers, we must seek to find how we have been called to carry out “The Mission.” “The Mission” is to reach the whole world with the love of God.” But having this love inside and being willing to share that love unconditionally, should be the heart’s desire of all who believe in Christ. Since reading a statement by J.I. Packer, I’ve come to adopt something he stated: My desire it to “Know Him (God) and to make Him (God) Known.” How I carry out that mission may be different from my brothers and sister in Christ, nevertheless, it fulfills “The Mission.”
    Years ago, I recalled making the statement, “I desire to reach the world for Christ as a Pastor to all men.” A fellow classmate asked me how was I going to do that, I suggested that well since I was not created omnipresence, then I guess I’ll have to share with as many people as I can, teach as mean people as I can, use my gifts as often and where ever God allows — In doing this, I am an instrument of God, used to reach people all over the world. As I tell one and they tell another, as one life is changed, prayerfully that life will be used to change another — in that I would have been a small instrument used by God… By this, I am contributing to “The Mission.” (and my desire to reach the whole world with the love of God)…

    Reply
    • Keith Burnett

      Thanks, Pete. Good comments in this series! And everyone is tracking well I might add. More to come!

      Reply
  4. Josh Goforth

    This stuff is very deep and insightful to me,I feel so unworthy to even speak Jesus name but i know that we fellow believers are called to be the hands and feet of Jesus. This is also my first mission trip. I am going because I feel like we are called to spread the Gospel and this is a small way for me to contribute to that process.

    Reply
    • Keith Burnett

      Josh, thanks much! Let me encourage you with your sense of humility. That is a necessary part of being an effective missionary. It’s been said often, but it’s worth repeating: God doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called. Yes, we are to be the hands of Jesus. And we will use our hands, and our lips, to show people the love of Christ in love and deed. Those two things go together. Thanks for your thoughts.

      Reply
  5. Jeremy Wilson

    What about the end of John? Jesus said “I came to this earth to bear witness to the truth”. I believe that is our mission both today, and next week in the D.R.
    We are called to be ambassadors who bear witness to the way, the truth, and the life, the light of the world, the lamb of God, the Alpha and the Omega; though the task is daunting, when we phantom that it’s not us, but him in us, it becomes easier because we do nothing g but follow and imitate.

    Reply
    • Keith Burnett

      Thanks, Jerermy. Good thoughts in your comments.

      Reply
  6. Linda

    The mission field is everywhere, every day! Our mission is to be the hands and feet of Jesus in a broken, hurting world; to seek and to act upon promptings from the Holy Spirit; and to be a loving, humble servant for the glory of God.

    Reply

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