What's your mission?
If you had to write a mission statement for your life, what would it say?
I’ve been reflecting on these questions recently for two reasons. First, the latest Mission: Impossible movie came out in theaters last month, and I’m eager to see it. (Tom Cruise is a wild man!) Second – and more importantly – I’ve recently returned from a continuing education trip that focused on this very topic: mission and the church.
During my time away, I met with seven other pastors to read through the work of the 20th century missionary Lesslie Newbigin. Newbigin was adamant throughout his ministry that mission is not tangential to the gospel, but at the very heart of the gospel. Jesus, after all, came on a mission to rescue us, and Jesus has commissioned us to make disciples in his name. The church, therefore, doesn’t have a mission; the church is a mission – a “joyful participation in Christ’s ongoing life and work,” as our Presbyterian Book of Order says.
So if you’re wondering what your personal mission in life is, look to the Lord. Look to Jesus. He already has a mission statement for you, and he invites you to share in that mission with other people in a community called “church,” for the life of the world.
Starting at the end of August, I will preach four sermons on the topic of mission, focusing specifically on our mission statement at First Presbyterian Church: “To make disciples who love Jesus Christ, love the church, and love their neighbors as themselves.” This statement has its roots in Jesus’ conversation with a teacher of the law in Luke 10. We will study Scripture and break the statement down week-by-week to consider how God is leading us on mission together in Sylva and beyond. I hope you’ll join us.
Yours in Christ,