Sunday – 17th November 2013

Our Mission Challenge

A well-known mission leader once declared “Let my heart be broken by the things which breaks the heart of God”.  I would like to call this declaration as a statement of passion. Passion is the heart set free to pursue that which is truly worthy. We are called to set our heart on one thing that is most worthy to God – the glory of God.

As an Anglican Diocesan, we want to focus our motive in mission on the glory of God. God’s glory is the primary purpose for mission. It’s not surprise to see that Jesus’ mission on earth is to bring glory to His Father: “I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do.”  (John 17: 4)

Jesus shared God’s glory by obeying the Father. Therefore, Jesus, the first missionary in human history was “send” by His Father into this world. Our sharing in God’s glory is connected with Jesus’ mission on earth. He says, As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.” (John 17: 18)

The mission challenge to us as it was to Jesus is to be understood in two ways: 1. Send toshowGod. 2. Send tosavepeople. The mission of the church is about sending. Mission is to “show God” and “save people”. In Jesus’ prayer for His disciples, He demands their obedient to His mission call, “I have revealed youto those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. (John 17: 6)

I want to draw out three features of mission challenges:

1.      Lack of joy is the lack of mission

“I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them.” (John 17: 13)

Church life can become tasteless and joyless if there is the lack of mission. John 17 is about His mission. John 17: 4 reveals Jesus’ mission is to bring glory to His Father. John 17: 6 reveals Jesus’ mission is to show the Father. John 17: 13 reveals Jesus’ mission is to bring joy to His church. The result of mission is always joy.

The goal of mission is to bring the nations to the knowledge of God and worship Him. Without mission, there will be no worship of God’s people. The goal of mission is the gladness of God’s people in the greatness of God.

May the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you rule the peoples with equity and guide the nations of the earth. (Psalms 67: 4)

2.      Lose of Christian value is the lost of mission

If you have no sense of mission, you are a consumer Christian. You have lost your Christian value. The mission of the church is to “go” not “stay”. We are made for world-changing mission. It is not a matter of big church or small church. It is a matter of healthy church or unhealthy church. When churches are healthy, they will reproduce. Healthy churches are outward looking. They focus on people not in the churches. When we do that, it will reduce a lot of problems inside the church.

When God says to Abraham, I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing” (Genesis 12:2) He is saying, “Get out” of your comfort zone and only then you can be a blessing to others.

Without Christ, Christianity is without value. Without Christ, Christian mission is without value. To be a blessing is to be like Christ. Christ is a person in mission and therefore everyone comes in contact with Him is in mission.

3.      Less of payment is the less of mission

The mission of the church is much bigger than we think. We are called to be a world Christian not worldly Christian. World Christians are Christians whose life-directions have been transformed by a world vision and are willing to obey the world vision. The diocese of Sabah Anglican churches is just a small part of the world Christian community. We are in the business of sending missionaries to where the Lord has called. We are challenged to pray, give and go.

Mission works are costly and by giving to mission works, we are in partnership toward world mission. The less we pray, give and send, the less we are in partnership. The Philippians gave out of concern and a profound sense of partnership. They gave abundantly and took the opportunity to involve with the ministry of “giving and receiving” (Philippians 4: 15)

In His mission

Dean Chak Sen Fen

Chairman of Diocesan Mission and Church Planting Committee