Yesterday was an awesome day at church. For the first time, we baptized people in all four of our weekend gatherings. That's a pretty big milestone for us. All of this cool stuff has my head spinning, and pumped for the mission of God in the Earth. So, here's my Monday Missional Mind-Dump:
God is on an Unstoppable Mission to Love and Save His Enemies I just don't get why, but God really, really loves his people. And we, His people, are one messed up group of folk. But, cover-to-cover, the Bible tells a story of a God who is dramatically and deeply devoted to redeeming the servants of his enemy and adopting them into his family. Piper says it well when he writes:
He created us "in his image" so that we would image forth his glory in the world. We were made to be prisms refracting the light of God's glory into all of life. Why God should want to give us a share in shining with his glory is a great mystery. Call it grace or mercy or love-it is an unspeakable wonder. Once we were not. Then we existed-for the glory of God! [note]John Piper, Desiring God. (Colorado Springs, CO: Multnomah, 1986) 55.[/note]
God Delights to Involve Us in the Mission What's crazier than the mere fact that God loves us sinners is that he commissions us into His service for the mission. The mission which led to our salvation doesn't stop with us, it consumes us.
God Uses Regular People The story of Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch in Acts 8 reveals something: God uses a regular dude to do an irregularly awesome thing. Philip here was not the Philip, famous as one of "the twelve." This was the other Philip — the one who was always getting confused with the Philip. This Philip was just a regular guy who led a ministry team in the early church.
Missional Efficacy is Proportional to Spirit Sensitivity Philip had a couple things going for him. First, he was sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Because of that, he could hear when God said, "Yo, go talk to that guy." Are we Spirit sensitive? Would we even hear if God told us to tell someone the gospel? Do we know His voice?
Truth + Grace = Change Over and over again I see in the Scriptures how effective gospel ministry appears to be this beautiful combination of truth telling and grace giving. Philip was able to explain the Scriptures to the Ethiopian. I wonder, could you have done the same thing? Part of the reason we study the Bible for its meaning (not just its significance to us personally) is so we can accurately explain it to others. But when we share the truth, we must show grace. When gospel truth mingle with gospel grace, lives change. People get saved, delivered, and helped.
Baptizing People Is My Favorite Certain parts of ministry totally get old. Baptizing people into the family of God never does.