God Gave You the Holy Spirit … For a Reason
This post coincides with a book I’m releasing in August, called Gaining by Losing: Why the Future Belongs to Churches that Send. Gaining by Losing is all about how to empower your church or Christian organization to follow the Spirit where He leads–into mission. If you are interested, check-out or pre-order here!
There was a time, believe it or not, when churches didn’t call themselves “missional.” Missions was, for most Christians, what other people did. It was for the elite, the varsity level, the Navy Seals of the Christian world. The rest of us praised our missionaries and considered them heroes…but we never really considered that we, too, were supposed to be missionaries.
That attitude is beginning to change, but the American church has a long way to go. It is immensely encouraging to hear of churches around the country catching the vision that mission is part of the very essence of the church. God doesn’t call us into his kingdom, and only at some later time call a few more of us into his mission. His call to join him in mission is tied up in his call to salvation. “Follow me,” Jesus said, “And I will make you fishers of men.”
As Charles Spurgeon so prophetically put it, “Every Christian is either a missionary or an impostor.” That doesn’t mean that every believer must pack up their bags and move to Afghanistan (though many more should!). It means that the call to follow Christ is a call to follow him where he goes, as he seeks to make his name known throughout the world. It means that whether you’re a hairdresser or a pastor, a stay-at-home mom or an overseas missionary, God’s got a mission for you. He gave you the Spirit, and he did that for a reason.
Many people look around at our current society and are worried about the direction of our country. But I look around and see opportunity. I see a nation in need of the light of the gospel. I see, for the first time in history, a flood of immigrants coming in to the U.S. that gives us a chance to fulfill the Great Commission in our own backyard. I see a kairos moment that God has given the North American church. Will we shrink back in fear, or will we seize this kairos moment?
The church is not composed of “those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith” (Heb 10:39). And one of the primary ways we can encourage one another in that faith is to join hands, to say to our brothers and sisters, “We are in this mission together.” That’s why I’m so thankful for Send North America (SNA), because they exist to develop, resource, and mobilize churches to join in God’s mission. They understand the vision, and they’re committed to helping churches go from “shrinking” to sending—whether that sending means planting new churches in key cities, or equipping believers to faithfully follow Christ where they already are.
On August 3–4, SNA is hosting a 2-day conference in Nashville (one of my favorite cities), to equip churches to get involved in the mission of God. I’ll be there, with David Platt, Louie Giglio, Eric Mason, Ed Stetzer, and a bunch of others—men and women who are deeply passionate about seeing God move in the lives of every believer in every church throughout our nation. If you sense that God’s Spirit within you is restless to join in His mission, if you want to know how to be a missionary where you are, if you want to learn from those of us who have made our fair share of mistakes along the way…then you need to sign up today.
Click here to register (and hustle, because the price jumps up on June 3rd) … and I’ll see you in Nashville this August!