A church not for ourselves

Last Sunday, we thought about Jesus’ words to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves” (Luke 10:2-3). Notice the progression: see, pray, go. See that the harvest is plentiful. Pray to the Lord for more workers into the harvest field. Go and proclaim.

This means that we cannot be a church for ourselves. We’re not called into a relationship with Jesus to be passive. We’re to see the world around us and its needs with Jesus’ eyes. Jesus calls us to declare his gospel to a world that does not know him.

Think about the implications of this for a moment. Jerram Barrs writes, “We all have our own agendas for Jesus, just as the apostles had one for Him. He, however, has an agenda for us. His agenda is power for us to be living, speaking testimonies for Him to an unbelieving world, power to love our enemies, power to bless those who curse us, power to forgive as He forgives us, power to love one another.”

This Sunday is our Annual Missions Sunday. We welcome to St Andrew’s, Rev. Peter Sholl, the International Director of Church Missionary Society (CMS) Australia. CMS is a fellowship of Christian people and churches committed to global mission. They work with churches to set apart godly people as long-term cross-cultural gospel workers. St Andrew’s has been pleased to have CMS as one of our mission partners for many years. Over the years, some of the clergy at St Andrew’s have been CMS gospel workers.

When Jesus saves us, he also sends us out

This Sunday, we want to be challenged in how we can support our mission partners, but also how each of us can be involved in God’s mission. Here are four brief encouragements about how we can be involved.

Be informed. Find out about our mission partners and their work. Mission is not a task that we outsource and forget about. Partnership means understanding. You’ll find that as you get to know our mission partners, their ministry will engage you. This is the first step of deeper involvement.   

Pray. Pray for our mission partners. Join with us in praying for them on Sundays, but also pray for them individually. Pray also for people in your own life who are yet to know Jesus. Often at St Andrew’s we talk about “the fives”: praying regularly for five people to come to know Jesus.

Give. Our mission partners are dependent on financial support for their ministry. Part of our church budget (12%) goes directly to our mission partners. You may want to give directly to our partners through designated giving. Prayerfully consider how you can partner with them through what God has given you.

Go. Get involved yourself using your time and talents, volunteering by yourself or with your Growth Group. As we serve, God blesses us as our own faith inevitably deepens.

When Jesus saves us, he also sends us out. He wants to use each of us for the cause of his kingdom.