The Mission of Christ was the theme for our 120th Annual District Conference, held April 12-13 in Eaton, Colorado. Pastor and Author Reggie McNeal challenged our pastors and leaders with his style and message to not make our faith and church a silo in our life, but to live the mission of Christ in every aspect of our daily encounter with culture. This was also the theme of the national Exponential conference held later in April in Orlando Florida which 12 Rocky Mountain District church planters and district leaders attended.
Just as America has dramatically changed culturally in the past decade so must the Christian if we are to remain faithful not simply to Christ as Savior, but also as our Lord. As I Peter 2 makes clear every one of us is called of God as “a royal priesthood…so that we may proclaim the excellencies of He who has called us out of darkness into light.”
Half a century ago America was a nation that was heavily influenced by Christian values and the message of the gospel. Our social structure included participation in church as part of our weekly practice. Not so in 2011. It is critical that every believer not see an institution called the church as a place we go, but rather that we understand every believer is the church wherever we go. Where do you work? When you go to work you take the church to the people with whom you work. Where do you shop? When you are shopping the church is present in the marketplace. When you drive into your neighborhood the church has arrived and is present among your neighbors. You cannot recreate without the church also being present.
You may be concerned about the value shift you have experienced this past decade in America. I know I am. You and I are the hope to bring about changes in all of the social dysfunction about which we are concerned. It occurs one relationship at a time through caring about those with whom we come in contact every day.
Are you living as a missionary? If you are a follower of Christ, you are a missionary everywhere you go. Begin your mission by taking interest in those in your circle of influence. Ask them what their concerns, needs and challenges are. You don’t need to solve their problems, but simply listen to them and offer to pray for them and even with them. Live among them with a transformed heart and lifestyle. Soon they will be asking more about you, your faith, your hope in Christ.