“Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” (Mark 16:15)
Every single believer has been called to the exact same mission: to preach the Gospel to everyone. But every single believer has not been issued the exact same marching orders. The mission God has given is a universal command to all Christians, but each one of us has been given individual marching orders for carrying it out.
What marching orders have you received to carry out your Gospel-sharing mission?
You see, God does not tell us whether we are to be a butcher, baker, or candlestick maker. We have been given the freedom (and the responsibility) to choose our own calling and decide what profession, occupation, or activity will be our mission field. To coin a phrase, we are all marching to the beat of a different drummer. But regardless of the calling we choose, we are all given the same mission: making the invisible God visible to the watching world by all that we think, do, and say.
So . . . how are doing at carrying out the mission God has given you? Remember, the mission is general and applies to us all, but the march is specific and personal to you. We don’t get a vote about what the mission will be; we are all missionaries—whether we travel to a foreign land or never leave our home town. We are all on mission until God brings us into His heavenly glory.
When it comes to the march, however, we not only get a vote, we get to vote over and over and over again. In my own life I have transitioned from ocean-rescue lifeguard to firefighter to business owner to physical education teacher to pastor and now to church planter. Clearly I have marched to a variety of drumbeats in my life, but since my conversion in 1995, I have been sent out by God on mission—the same mission, regardless of the march.
God has missionaries in every possible sphere of life. Regardless of what we are doing, if we do it for God’s glory and are sharing God’s story, we are fulfilling our mission. From the boardroom to the classroom . . . from academia to athletics . . . from medicine to mechanics . . . God is on the move through the missionaries He has sent out into His world to share His message of the glorious Good News of salvation by grace alone through faith in Jesus Christ alone. If we are going to live out what we claim to be—Christians—we will be obedient to our mission by sharing Christ with those whom we come in contact with on our march.
I’d like to close by telling you about something I’m working on to help you march with confidence and joy. I’ve been doing a lot of research on the subject of evangelism lately, and I’ve learned that just about half of all Bible-believing Christians have never shared their faith in Jesus Christ with anyone, and a great many more have only shared their faith with one person. Sad to say, the Great Commission has become the Great Omission!
I believe the primary reason for this abject failure to march as we have been commanded to is fear. We’re afraid that we won’t know what to say to an unbeliever, and we’re afraid that our retelling of the Greatest Story Ever Told will be unwelcome and unwanted. So I am putting the finishing touches on a program that will equip you to share your faith in a very comfortable and completely nonconfrontational way. Best of all, it’s so simple that you can teach it to a first-grader, yet present it with powerful impact to an unbelieving adult. You won’t have to spend hours memorizing anything, and there’s nothing in my new program that directs you to go out and knock on strangers’ doors or accost people in parking lots. It’s a program you can use where you live and work and interact with others . . . and do it in a way that almost guarantees that you will not get an angry or hostile response.
I’ll be speaking a lot more about this program in the weeks ahead, here in Grace for the Race and in my sermons at Cross Community Church. If you’re feeling like you haven’t been fulfilling the mission God gave us all, be encouraged! You’ll soon be learning a powerful and effective new way to march.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!