There’s a great missions video clip giving missions quotes. (The link is at the bottom.) My favorite was by Oswald J. Smith: “We talk of the Second Coming; half the world has never heard about the first.” That quote stabs at my heart. So many have never heard the Gospel of Jesus!
Job #1 is making disciples. Spiritual transformation transcends everything else.
We fail if we just teach people to act good, make good decisions, and know all the good things in the Bible. So much literate worldview is focused on conveying biblical information. It misses the transformational nature of disciple-making. Spiritual transformation seeks to be a genuine follower of Jesus that is genuine, personal, and obedient to Jesus’ teachings. Transforming a person’s worldview to align with Scripture is real disciple-making. The person with the “mind of Christ” will of course want to spiritually grow and that usually is synonymous with being a witness and making disciples of others.
If there is a Job #2 for followers of Jesus, it’s being reproducible. Can the learner pass on to others what they are learning? Those of us in the Orality Movement are seeking to be used of the Lord to try and change the disciple-making paradigm so that it’s not just about busy-work at church, but engaging the learner.
A church in Maine re-decorates their whole children’s area every two months into a village or city of a focal people group. Each week focuses on a different aspect of missions among that people. And they develop their own children’s Bible study to specifically train their children to think and live like missionaries. It’s mind-blowing what they’re doing. But it takes a lot of time that some children’s leaders would never think to try. They may do it for a Vacation Bible School emphasis, but what about every week?
I’m encouraging churches to develop this kind of disciple-making prioritizing church-wide and not just relegate it to kids. Hey, we live in a colorful 3-D world. Why put adults in sterile learning rooms? Making disciples so that they want to see the Gospel spread is exciting, but it is hard work! But what a labor of love. And it comes out of setting priorities in which the Holy Spirit transforms lives.
Link to Missions video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bP2c8P1K2EU#t=44