The Bible assures us, “We are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10). Grace Church wants to help you discover that “good work.” We believe the discovery of your own mission is not only important for you personally, but also critical for accomplishing the mission of Jesus. Over the next few weeks we will be exploring how we can share in the Mission of Jesus by sharing in the Practices of Jesus.
As we work through the series over the next few weeks, you can find them here:
Get the Devotional
We want to have our hearts changed by God so that we can love others the way He does. We can always hear from God when we spend time reading scripture. As we explore how we can help others meet God and enjoy His forgiveness, we encourage you follow along with us in a weekly devotional.You can find it here:
The Mission of Jesus
First, we must reach people who are far from God. The Western Church is observing a dramatic shift from a Christian culture to a post- Christian one. It is now suggested that many of the people we want to reach will never enter the doors of our current forms of church. If they won’t come to us then, just as God did for us in Jesus, we must go to them. Jesus said to “Go into all the world,” (Matthew 28:19) and we are accepting that challenge to “go” and be a people who will reach people who are far from God.
We must also restore God’s dream for the world. As Christ- followers, we can no longer just talk about poverty and justice issues; we must take action to address those issues. Jesus said, “God has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor”. (Luke 4:18) This was a part of Jesus’ mission and it must be part of our mission to restore God’s dream for the world.
We must then reproduce the mission in others. Jesus’ vision was that his mission would go from “Jerusalem…Judea…Samaria…and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). Because of this vision, we place a high priority on reproducing the mission in others. We reproduce through apprenticing Christ followers, leaders, artists, and church planters.
The Practices of Jesus
How did Jesus accomplish His mission?
We want to see others enjoy the hope that is found in Jesus. We want to make disciples. We want to carry on the Mission Jesus gave us. Yet, it’s sometimes hard to know where to start. We believe the answer is to look at the Practices of Jesus. In doing so, we find five missional practices that we can begin to practice. These are not the only missional practices that Jesus demonstrated, but are ones that can help us to make sense of the Mission He gave us.
FIVE MISSIONAL PRACTICES:
These five missional practices make up the acronym BLESS and are the way we put into practice the blessing strategy God gave Abraham for changing the world: “And I will bless you…and you will be a blessing” (Genesis 12:2). You will do at least one of these practices everyday and then begin your small group each week with the question of “Who did you BLESS this week?”
Begin with prayer: We will pray for the people, or communities, to which we are sent.
Listen: We will listen to the people, or communities, to which we are sent.
Eat: We will share meals with those to whom we are sent.
Serve: We will respond to the needs we discover among those to whom we are sent.
Story: We will share the story of Jesus, and what he is doing in our lives, with those to whom we are sent.
We will help unpack these concepts over the next few weeks.
We are deeply indebted to the work of Jon and Dave Ferguson of Community Christian Church, What If the Church? Kansas City, and our friends at New Community Church in Tacoma, WA and Jubilee Church in St. Louis, MO. We look forward to joining in the journey others have blazed ahead of us in seeing people find their way back to God.