Preparing to Make the Final Words of Jesus our First Priority

Mission – Opposition and Persecution

In this clip Mike Gore from Open Doors Australia brings a profound challenge about our obedience when it comes to Jesus and his mission.

In a world where so many Christians are confronted by the violence of Islamic extremism and the relentless pressure of communism, the church continues to grow and the message of Jesus continues to spread.  What the church needs is for Christians who because of their passion for Jesus choose to walk obediently and to witness courageously even in the face of persecution.

Wherever the gospel is being shared, persecution exists. The challenge for the church in the West is to be willing to hear the voice of God and obey, even if that means facing persecution because of it.

Some free articles that remind us of the challenges and blessings of persecution that help to build the church and our mission: –

All over the world, persecution against Christians is rising in frequency and intensity. Though it differs depending on location, age, gender, ethnicity, culture, and family, persecution exists where the gospel is being shared.

Persecution has often been related to the growth and mission of the Church.  That’s what Tertullian forewarned the Roman emperors, “The blood of the martyrs is a seed of the Church,” and that their opposition would only enlarge the Church.

First-century persecution in the twenty-first century— while horrific and evil— is also producing a first-century harvest of millions coming to follow Jesus in the most miraculous ways and from the most unlikely places.  These are their stories.

Mission and the Word of God

In this clip David Platt and Fracis Chan talk about the centrality of Jesus and his word as our motivation and message as we engage in mission.

There is often a temptation to make mission about ourselves, about what we know, what we do, what people will think of us, and if they’re going to reject us, which threatens to undo the very thing Jesus want’s to do in and through us.  Jesus reminds his disciples that he is with them and that his spirit will empower them, this is where their focus needs to be.

Our challenge as Christians today is to press into Jesus, to deepen our appreciation and understanding of his word, so we can share it, and apply it in ways that speak into the situations of the people we are ministering too.

Some free articles that highlight the practical connections between the Bible, the gospel and the mission of Jesus: –

As Christians we have good news that needs to be shared, but we need to understand our context as we do.  That’s why John Stott said, “You must always preach with the Bible in one hand and Charles Taylor’s ‘A Secular Age’ in the other.”

Mission is not something the Bible merely speaks about—mission is what the Bible is all about. It is the context that provides the backbone for God’s story and our story, the story of God redeeming all peoples to Himself.

In our desire to share the gospel many Christians who want their friends and family to know Jesus Christ, fall into unhealthy patterns of sharing the faith, patterns that push people away from God rather than draw people near.

Crossing Culture in Mission

In this clip John Stonestreet discusses how Christians can influence the culture by seeking and contributing to good at the local level.

The reality is society is used to Christians standing in opposition to our culture instead of being willing to understand, and engage, and most importantly to do something good that helps people see a better way.   As we look around us we need ask what’s missing, where are things broken, what needs to sop, and how can we offer people a godly alternative.

What the church in Australia needs right now is to engage in cross-cultural mission work.  We need people who are willing to learn the language and culture of people outside of our church so we can share the good news of Jesus.

Some free articles that offer some practical and creative ways that you can pursue the mission of Jesus: –

This article explores the challenge of understanding our culture and those we are seeking to be and bring the good news of Jesus.  Growing in cultural awareness and adaptability is a human duty, and a Christian privilege.

Christians who understand the implications of the gospel inevitably look for ways to apply it as they live and work in secular society.  However, this cultural engagement brings with it unique challenges and complications

In post-Christian, post-religious Australia, we can no longer assume people will understand the language of culture of the church, so we need to invest time and energy to understand the language and culture of the average Aussie.

Discipleship and Mission

In this clip Alan Hirsch challenges the contemporary understanding of discipleship that does’t automatically move us into the mission of Jesus.

He says, “I’ve been asked to talk about a missional of discipleship and I thought that was a little odd at first. The fact we put qualifications on the word discipleship means that we’ve probably gone a long way from understanding of what the bible means by discipleship—it should be a stand alone term…It’s kind of weird we have to qualify it with adjectives…”

After 2000 years of following all these traditions, all the rituals we go through, and all the things we remember, how have we lost the essence of one of the most fundamental of things: the thing called discipleship, which means formation in Christ.

Some free articles that offer some practical and creative ways that you can pursue the mission of Jesus: –

In this season of social isolation we have one of the greatest opportunities to show and share the love of Jesus with our neighbours, and this artical from Mike Frost gives us 35 suggestions how we can do this.

Missional is not an event we tack onto our already busy lives. It is our life. Mission should be the way we live, and this article is looking at how we can be missional in everyday ways without overloading our schedules.

When it comes to mission often the challenge is not so much motivation, it’s about action.  In the BLESS model of mission the Baptist Union introduces us to five simple missional practices that any of us can do.  Why not give them a go?

Preparing for Mission

In this clip David Platt suggests that the role of every pastor and church is to equip and empower every person to engage in the mission of Jesus .

We have become so accustomed to doing mission from within the safety of the church, some of us are struggling to figure how to be salt and light right where we are.  So ias we come to missions month, my vision and passion is to find ways to help each of us to find new and creative ways to love, serve and share the good news of Jesus with the people around us.

Over the coming weeks, we are going to provide a number of resources so together we can figure what it means to live on mission every day with our family, our friends, our work, and even the strangers we come across in the supermarket.

Some free subscriptions and resources to help equip and inspire you to pursue the mission of Jesus: –

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Click on this image to go to The Verge Network’s Youtube page and view some great material.