Week 5: Mission

We’ve been looking at five ways to grow in your faith by connecting with Christ, feeding yourself through the Word, praying like Jesus, engaging in biblical community and today we are looking at playing your part in the mission.

Jesus gave us the mission right before returning to heaven, All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. Matt 28:18–20
 
Jesus has been given ALL authority to send ALL believers into ALL the world to make new disciples. Then we are to teach them to obey ALL he commanded, knowing that Jesus will be with us always!
 
The central command here is to “make disciples of all nations.” To make a disciple means taking someone who is not a believer and inviting them to become a disciple. And we are to go to all nations meaning that we must keep going until every people group has disciples following Jesus.

Once someone decides to follow Jesus, we baptize them to help them make a public declaration of their faith, then begins the life long process of teaching them to obey everything Jesus commanded.

If this seems too big of a task don’t worry, Jesus sends us out under his authority. We can go confidently that wherever we set foot Jesus has already claimed and has people he wants to save. And we can rest assured that he will go with us as we go.

The mission of inviting everyone to find and follow Jesus is the only mission big enough to give our entire lives too.
 
Understand the Urgency
When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”  Matt 9:36–38

Compassion was Christ’s motivation. Like sheep without a shepherd lost people are doomed to wander through life with no real direction or purpose. They are left helpless to the constant harassment of the enemy all their lives, only to die and suffer for all eternity separated from God in Hell.

In light of this reality Jesus tells us to pray for workers to be sent to into the harvest field to rescue his lost sheep. As we pray for laborers we should be willing to be laborers ourselves.

You know the saying, ‘Four months between planting and harvest.’ But I say, wake up and look around. The fields are already ripe for harvest. The harvesters are paid good wages, and the fruit they harvest is people brought to eternal life. What joy awaits both the planter and the harvester alike! You know the saying, ‘One plants and another harvests.’ And it’s true. I sent you to harvest where you didn’t plant; others had already done the work, and now you will get to gather the harvest. John 4:35–38  
 
Jesus tells us to wake up and look around and realize that the fields are already ripe. The harvest is plentiful. The problem is not with the lack of harvest, the problem is lack of harvesters.

During harvest season farmers work literally from sun up to sundown to harvest as much fruit as they possibly can. God has given us a short window of time to be a part of God’s mission in the world, and our reward is the joy of seeing people brought to eternal life.
 
Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”  Romans 10:13–15  
 
If we don’t go, they won’t know. The mission couldn’t be more urgent, there are millions of people right now who have never heard how they can be saved by Jesus. If we don’t send preachers they won’t hear, and if they don’t hear they won’t be saved. They won’t be saved if we don’t send people into their workplaces, neighborhoods, and to the less reached parts of the world to tell them how to be saved.
Why is it so important for us to realize the urgency of our mission?
Invest and Invite
Wherever God has placed you, he has people in your path that you can point to Jesus by investing in relationships and inviting them to take appropriate next steps toward Christ.

Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Col 4:5
 
We need a balance of wisdom and urgency to do this well. We must seize the opportunities God brings us and do so as wisely as we possibly can.
 
Develop Relationships 
Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.  Matt 5:16  
 
Make friends with the people in your life and be sure you are representing Christ well. Your life an be a light only if you are living differently from the world around you.

Discover Stories 
Asking good questions and listening is the key to understanding where the person is at spiritually.

FIRE (method to be intentional in conversation)
  • Find Common Ground - Talk about something you have in common.
  • Interests - What do you do in your free time?
  • Relationships - Ask about their family or upbringing.
  • Experience With God - Ask about their religious background.
 
Discern Next Steps  
Once the spiritual topic has come up, ask the Holy Spirit to give you wisdom on how to make the most of the opportunity.

Share Attractively 
3 Story Method
  • Their Story - Listen well for clues to their current spiritual interest.
  • Your Story - Connect your true story of life change to what might relate to their story
  • God’s Story - Ask them if they would be willing to hear a short summary of how God changed your life.

Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. Col 4:6

Like a good potato chip, the right amount of salt makes people want more, too much and they gag. Seasoning our conversation with salt means to seek to make it attractive, leaving them wanting more.

We must be full of grace like Jesus who was “full of grace and truth.” John 1:14 It’s not our job is not to convince people, our job is to respond to what God is doing in people’s lives and be ready when the opportunity comes.

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,  1 Peter 3:15

Part of having Christ as Lord of your life means that you need to be ready at any moment to tell people about the hope that you have in him. And always remember to share gentleness and respect.

Some situations are no appropriate for deep conversations so if you have started a spiritual conversation it can be help to say “I’d love to talk more about his later, want to meet up for lunch or coffee so we can talk more about this?” That way you can continue the conversation in a less rushed setting.

Invite Strategically
The ministry of Jesus was all about invitations. John the Baptist’s disciples Andrew and John were following Jesus from a distance and Jesus turned around and asked, “What are you seeking?” Probably shocked and unsure what to say they asked, “Where are you staying?” and Jesus simply said, “Come and you will see.”

After spending the day with Jesus, the first thing Andrew did was go find his brother Peter and invite him to meet Jesus. Then Jesus invited Philip to follow him and right away Philip found Nathaniel to invite him, but when Nathaniel asked Philip if anything good could come from Nazareth Philip simply said, Come and see!

The immediate response of the first followers was to invite others to join them. At Compass we have designed our Sunday services to have a welcoming environment, so that every week is a good week to visit and explore faith so you can always invite interested people to Church. We also have events and groups for people with various interests that you can invite people to.

Very rarely will someone be offended if you offer a low pressure positive invitation. If it’s clear that you are excited about it and not awkward about it, people will take it seriously and usually appreciate it. Don’t say no for people, offer the invite and then give them freedom to say no themselves.
Which of these steps do you want to grow in and start working on today?
Use Your SHAPE To Serve
For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.  Ephesians 2:10

You are a masterpiece made for God’s mission. He has specific things unique to you based on how he specifically designed you. There is great job in discovering, developing and deploying your unique contribution to the mission of the church.
 
Spiritual Gifts - What spiritual gifts has God given you?

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.  1 Peter 4:10 

Each believer has a spiritual gift and that gift is not for yourself, it’s for others. We each have a responsibility to share the grace God has given us with others.

Heart - What are you passionate about?

Is there a need in the world that keeps you up at night? Is there a hobby you enjoy that you can use to build relationships? If you are passionate about something, God can use it to help build the church.

Abilities - What natural abilities has God given you?

If you are good at singing, cooking, building things, connecting with people, or good with computers. God can use whatever your are good at for his glory.

Personality - How can God use your unique personality?

Introverts, extroverts and everything in between all have a role to play and can connect with different types of people.

Experience - What good or bad experiences do you bring to the table?

Often our hard experiences that we have made it through are what God wants to redeem and use the most. Every part of your story can be used for God’s glory.

The apostle Paul is a great example of how God uses every part of our lives. He had a good upbringing and knew his theology well, which equipped him to write scripture and make sound arguments, but he also made a lot of mistakes in his persecution of the church, proving that God can forgive anyone. God wants to use every part of your past, he doesn’t waste anything.
How does understanding your SHAPE help you serve the mission better?

One of the primary purposes of this course was to give you the tools to prepare you to grow in your faith. We believe that happens best through discipleship groups.
Discipleship Groups
To encourage one another to love God wholeheartedly and to love our neighbors sacrificially. (Matthew 22:36-40; Matthew 28:18–20)
Discipleship Group Covenant 
3-6 disciples from Compass Church, of the same gender, who covenant together to encourage one another to love God wholeheartedly and to love our neighbors sacrificially by inviting them to find and follow Jesus. (Matthew 22:36-40; Matthew 28:18–20)
The questions will revolve around helping each other grow in the Word, prayer, community and mission. Discipleship groups are committed to meet for one semester then re-evaluate.

With God’s help, I will seek to:
  • Meet with my group for at least one hour every week, unless genuinely hindered.
  • Contribute to an atmosphere of confidentiality, honesty, openness and encouragement.
  • Give and receive scriptural correction from other members of the group.
  • Be held accountable for the goals I set for myself in the context of this group.
  • Pray for the other members of the group.
  • Start praying about who I could replicate this process with.

WEEKLY QUESTIONS:
What is a high and a low for you personally from this week?

What stood out from your personal time with God in the Word or this week’s sermon that you’d like to apply to your life? (Optional: If the leader has a Bible passage, lesson or other resource, discuss it now.)

Who might God be asking you to invest in or invite to find and follow Jesus? How will you?

How did you do with your growth goals? Any new goals this week? Write them down. (Possible categories: Bible, prayer, community, mission, other personal goals.)

What happened with last week’s prayer requests? How can we pray for you this week? Pray for each other.
We will do our best to help you find a discipleship group that fits your schedule and with people you might have an affinity with. There are people who have been in groups that we can match you up with.
What benefits can you see that might come from being in a discipleship group?