Mandate – It’s not optional

7 Aug 2019

When I entered the auditorium of a church in Perth this week I was immediately struck by a massive sign painted on one interior wall. The pastors explained they had recently completed a massive renovation of the building, creating a new look and breathing vitality to an otherwise ageing complex. New stage. New carpets. New paint, seating, lights and configuration. Everything looked impressive and inviting, but it was the bold sign that caught and held my attention…

We will not change the world by going to church.
We will only change the world by being the church

You’ll find various versions of this sentiment on the internet. It’s a profound truth. Forget the building – the local church is made up of God’s people who are changing the world one person, one community at a time as they share the gospel of Jesus Christ with people who don’t know him.

After his resurrection, Jesus told his followers: ‘You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the ends of the earth’ (Acts 1:8). Not you might be my witnesses. Or could be. Or should be. Or think about being my witnesses. But you will be. The mandate (commission) of Jesus is not optional. Followers of Jesus don’t get to decide if they will be witnesses in the world. They are.

If you’re a Christian, you signed up to witness to Christ when you surrendered your life to him.  So, the question is, “What kind of witness are you?”

A second question follows on the heels of the first, “Where in the world are you witnessing to the message of Jesus Christ?” If you’re alive and you love Jesus, you are witnessing somewhere. Is it close to home (Jerusalem); nearby (Judea); across some cultural border (Samaria); or in some foreign place far away (the ends of the earth)? Where are you on mission?

My prayer is that you will consider engaging in mission to the ends of the earth. By that I mean you will play some part in making the gospel known to people in places where there are few Christians and fewer churches.

Go and serve people who have not yet heard the gospel – we’ll help you get there. Send someone else – give them some money and commit to pray for them. You are a witness to the world – be intentional about it.

I am praying you will be the church and change the world.

-Simon Longden, Director of Pioneers Australia.

Is God calling you to join the mission field? Get in touch.

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