Over the last four posts, we have explored our role as deputies for the Lord, our status as commissioned ministers in our spheres of influence, and the role of leaders in the body of Christ. I thought some people might appreciate a resource that will go more in-depth into these ideas. Ed Stetzer, the Director of Lifeway Research and Lifeway’s resident missiologist, wrote a Bible study in 2008 that continues to be relevant today: Sent, Living the Missional Nature of the Church. It is available online or in Lifeway bookstores nationwide.
Here are a few learnings from the first half of Ed’s Bible study that are germane to our topic. If you are inspired, go pick it up and complete it for yourself. You won’t be disappointed!
God the Father is a Sender. You probably are more familiar with the character of God as the God of peace, or the God who heals you, or the God of all comfort. These are true, but equally true is that God could be named “He Who Sends You.”
For God so loved the world that He sent His one and only Son…”
If God did not spare His own Son from being sent, then surely He will also send us. Jesus sent the disciples out when they were bungling, Barney Fifes, and then he sent out the apostles again after they had been transformed more into Andy Griffiths. Jesus will send you no matter what your level of maturity or training. Making sure you get trained and equipped by quality leaders is your responsibility!
We are members of the Kingdom of God and the King’s goal is to make our world look like it ought to. It is amazing to me that God has chosen us as His partners in advancing His Kingdom on this Earth. The Kingdom of God is a spiritual kingdom, but it should also encompasses politics and governance, business and economics, education, art and sports, health, social service and many other areas. We as believers have the responsibility to bring truth from the Kingdom of God into every realm of society. This is why we are sent by God into diverse places and not just al supposed to stay in the church walls or be professional ministers. The pros can’t be at your desk or in your factory to bring a Biblical perspective. That is your job.
“We must get engaged in our community as ambassadors.” – Ed Stetzer (p.45)
Everyone in the body of Christ has what Ed calls a “service sweet spot.” We should stop trying to do those things we were not made or called by God to do, and find out and do what He is asking us to do. Because the church is God’s Plan A for redemption of our world, we must love the church, with all her faults. He is not saying we must turn a blind eye to faults, but rather we should fight to see the church, our churches, be all they can be by being and doing what we are called to do. Find your sweet spot in the body and stay there. As Ed says, right now we have a lot of elbows trying to see. That is a sure pathway to burnout and disunity.
Question: Will you live a life that demonstrates you are sent by God?