Many readers already know Mission: Hope. And whether it’s new to you or not a comment or two is in order. Why? Because any mission in our lives has a greater chance of success if it is well defined. Your life-missions include things like:
- Growing as a disciple of Christ
- Loving my spouse
- Being Christlike in the workplace
- Faithfully serving others
- Being a Godly parent
Defining any mission helps us know two things: What the mission is and what the mission is not. Knowing that allows us to tenaciously pursue the mission. We can allow those things that contribute to the mission as defined and prevent or exclude all that does not fit.
Mission: Hope – Rivers of the World
Rivers of the World (ROW) is now Mission: Hope. The name change is new. And it is one piece of the work necessary to sharply define one’s mission. It helps us explain our mission to others. And for this post it serves as an example for all of us about the necessity of defining the various missions of our lives.
Mission: Hope – Engage & Equip
Just prior to putting Mission: Hope out to the public, our staff participated in an exercise designed to help us explain who we are and what we do. Personalities are different. We have been diligent about defining and refining what it means to be missional. But personalities express those concepts in a variety of terms. What follows is part of my contribution to that discussion.
We engage with others –
WE – none of us serve the Lord alone. He calls us to a new community of faith; a family of His design for His purposes. So our primary engagement is with other believers because all of us have the same commission from the same Lord to share the same Gospel. So the Church ‘here’ is engaging with the Church ‘there’ to accomplish the shared mission we have received. And Mission: Hope facilitates that shared mission by engaging with churches, individual believers, and other institutions that contribute to the mission of expanding God’s Kingdom.
Equip – Who & What
This word is about two things: 1) Who, and 2) With what? This concept is severely underutilized in many quarters of the modern Church. Pastors are to equip the saints for the work of the ministry. The core of that ministry as defined by Jesus is to make disciples. Pastors are not meant to be doing all the ministry for the Church. But there are plenty of people who think that is their job. And this is completely in line with the Scriptural idea of bringing disciples to maturity.
We readily grasp the idea of equipping when it comes to enabling destructive behavior. We need to bring that idea into ministry. The mission of the Church is always about equipping disciples for healthy maturity. It is not about creating an atmosphere of unhealthy dependence. So a Biblical model for missions should not create or foster dependence. Our mission is to engage and equip for Kingdom purposes.
Equip also brings a Who question. Who is it we are equipping and what is it we equip them with? First and foremost we equip others with the Word of God. To the unbeliever the Word of God is the power for salvation. All believers are commissioned to reach others with that news. For the believer the Word of God is fit for doctrine, instruction, and reproof. The Holy Spirit was given in order to guide us into truth and that is the Word of God. It is part of the spiritual growth process we call sanctification.
Mission: Hope – Encourage
There were a few more items in my description. But I think you get the idea about have a sharp focus on what the mission is or isn’t. If we equip others then encouragement follows. There is a truth we need to remember. God loves all of us where we are as we are. But it’s also true that He loves us too much to leave us there. The Gospel is the power of God for transformation and abundant living.
When we equip others they have the resources necessary to change life in the places they live. Everyone lives with challenges. And we can help (equip) others to face those challenges but we can’t do it for them. And if my life carries the transforming power of God within it then there is HOPE for a better future. People who are equipped that way can be the change agents (salt and light) God has called His disciples to be can find on this page.
I can’t change the lives of other people. BUT, I can be God’s tool to equip them to build a healthy community of faith in their part of the world. That’s God intent for believers everywhere. It just makes sense that we participate in what He is already doing! And one more thing…
Mission Or Not
Did you notice there wasn’t any mention of construction, medicine, education, or water purification as I commented on missions? Are you wondering why? Those things are necessary, valuable tools. However, they are not the mission. God’s mission has always been people. That ought to tell us a great deal about our missions in life!
Soli Deo Gloria!