It’s fashionable today for local churches to form a steering committee or to send their pastor on a vision quest (literally or figuratively) to determine the mission of their particular church. At best, this is a colossal waste of time. At worst, it is a form of creative disobedience. The Word of God is explicitly clear that “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (1 Tim. 1:15). If Christ’s mission is not our mission, simply put, we are not following Christ. For the most part, today’s steering committees and vision quests are a form of creative disobedience designed to avoid the high calling of Jesus and the necessary conflict it produces with a world steeped in rebellion against our LORD and King:
“Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the Gospel’s will save it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.” –Mark 8:34-38
“Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven. Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword.” –Matt. 10:32-34
Paul was called by the Lord Jesus Christ and sent on a global evangelistic rescue mission “to save sinners” through the proclamation of the Gospel “publicly and from house to house” (Acts 20:20-21). Paul’s mission is still our mission today:
“to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me” -Acts 26:18
By the grace of God, through the power of the holy Spirit, may we cease our creative disobedience and fully embrace the Great Commission, boldly declaring our King’s simple terms of peace and salvation: repentance of sin and confession of Jesus Christ (fully God, fully man, crucified for sinners, buried, resurrected on the third day, and seated at the right hand of the Father as the one mediator between God and men) as Lord and God.
Let’s make the Great Commission great in our churches again, and fill the earth with the glory of our King! Christ’s mission, message, and method have not changed:
“Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And you are witnesses of these things.” -Luke 24:46-48