“In order to reach every type of person, we must mobilize every type of Christian.” – Brian Sanders, author of Microchurches
Imagine yourself standing in front of the church congregation on Sunday morning ready to give a motivating sermon. As you look to the seats, you see smiling faces across the room and realize how God is about to prepare his people for a new work. You are about to communicate this message to them knowing that it may or may not be well received.
The message is about joining God in His mission. You are calling them to be missionaries in their neighborhoods, workplaces, and places of recreation. Every Sunday they are to regather and celebrate the work God is doing as they join him the rest of the week on mission. Then they scatter back into culture.
Every Christian a missionary. Every Christian a disciple maker. That’s the new work and message you deliver.
Can you imagine it? Even if you are not the lead pastor of your church, you can get a glimpse of the power behind this message and ministry culture. In fact, it’s actually a pretty common message in places of the world like Europe and China where the Gospel goes forward despite persecution and cultural battles. But do we in America call our people into this type of ministry work? Do we actually believe that every single believer is to live like a disciple-making missionary where they live, work, and play? What if we did? What if we actually called our people to this?
What counts as ministry?
Obviously, we understand serve days with our church, men’s ministry BBQ gatherings, youth group all-nighters, and many other church related ministry programs. All provide serving opportunities and ways for the people of our churches to get connected.
But what about the things we do away from the church campus the rest of the week? Do you believe that eating a meal with neighbors is important ministry work? What about hosting your kid’s soccer team in your home or bringing your entire office coffee just because? Are these things as important as volunteering in a church program? If they are, then are we celebrating them regularly on Sunday’s? And when Jesus told us to, “Go and make disciples,” was he referring to serving in one of our church programs on Sunday?
If you’ve wrestled with any of these questions, you’re definitely not alone. In fact, I’d even encourage you that the Spirit of God is at work in your life and is illuminating a new thing that He’s doing in believers across our country and the world. More and more followers of Jesus are asking these same questions and desiring a new sense of call and purpose in their lives. I believe He’s inviting you to ask some of these same questions not because He’s wanting you to give up on your local church, but actually the opposite! I believe you are asking some of these questions because He’s wanting His people fully alive and His church activated! …And you are just the right person to help with it! You are an essential piece to the body of Christ and your church needs your leadership in this area.
A New Work
In order to reach every type of person, we will need to mobilize every type of believer.
Your pastor will never be able to reach your kid’s soccer team, nor should he try…but you can. Most of your coworkers don’t regularly walk into church buildings…but they’ll gladly share their story with you over lunch.
Are you ready for what I’m about to say next? Christian: It’s not your pastor’s job to reach your neighbor or coworker. You are their pastor! Let that sink in for a minute.
What if your ministry calling wasn’t only to the kid’s ministry at your church, but was also to your kid’s baseball team? How would this change the way you view your time with them? Think about your workplace…maybe God’s intention there was more than a simple job that pays the bills as he calls you to be salt and light.
If we want to continue our faith journey to the next level, we must begin asking different questions. God has charged you with making disciples that baptize others in the name of the Father, Son, and Spirit, while teaching them the ways of Jesus. In order to change the landscape of our culture in the ways of the Kingdom, I believe this conversation is crucial.
Ministry in 2020 and beyond must begin looking different in order to continue to reach more people with God’s Good News. But first, we as the church must wake up. Holy Spirit awaken your Church!