Three Words  

Posted by Benjie in

Before you cry that I'm getting all mushy on you (and it's not even Valentine's Day), it isn't those three words. We'll start with the easy word:

  • Mission -- In this day and age, people, organizations, even families are encouraged to develop a mission statement, define what it is you will do--in your personal as well as professional life. A mission is that which gives you direction. It is an assignment or goal. It is the mission of the church to grow closer to God while introducing others to Him in the process.
  • Missionary -- A person with a special assignment, who is "on mission" is known as a missionary. In the life of my church, missionaries have long been placed high on a pedestal as something special. When I served our denomination as a missionary, I discovered that missionaries were typical people with typical feelings and flaws. What I learned though was that along with the special assignment to reach people with the Gospel message came an acute awarness of the task before us. Even as a pastor, I was not nearly as aware of the great need around me until I had seen the world through missionary eyes. Now I strive to remember that since I have a mission to bring people closer to God, I am a missionary whether I move across the national borders into a foreign country or not.
  • Missional -- Ah, here is a new word. It has developed over the last several years to combat a complacency that has plagued many Southern Baptist Churches. (I talk about SBC churches because that's where I am. You may want to examine your own church to see if the comments apply.) Over the years, because missions and missionary work were at the core of being of the Southern Baptist Convention and churches cooperating with her, the idea of being "Mission-Minded" became rather popular. What grew out of this desire was the practice of being mission-minded by giving generously to special offerings designed to raise funds for mission activity at home and abroad. It included the active participation of the ladies of the church in missions education (for all ages). These things are good, but often keep churches from moving out of mission-mindedness into becoming missional. So what is this, "missional," about which I am speaking? It is the deliberate application of the mission to the life of the missionary (locally as well as abroad) in the arena of the church with the express purpose of moving closer to completing the mission. Do we give to the special offerings? Yes! Do we learn about missions? Yes! Do we pray for the missionaries? By all means! But the missional church moves beyond this, the missional believer makes the mission his life, not his hobby.
Three words: Mission, Missionary, Missional. How do they apply to you?

This entry was posted on 06 March 2007 at 10:04 AM and is filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

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