“And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matt 28)
At Restore, we like to keep things simple, so we focus on four things: the Word of God, the Worship of God, the Community of God, and the Mission of God.”
If you’ve attended Restore, that statement should be familiar to you. If you’ve been there more than a week or two, you could probably repeat it! Those four things–Word, Worship, Community, and Mission–are the four values that we have built our church on. In fact, our Elders were encouraged recently when I emailed them a document from February 2010 that contained the following line:
We have four values that we uphold and believe are foundational to the church: The Word of God which is our ultimate authority and teaches us about Jesus, The Worship of God which is our only right response to Jesus, The Community of God where we are transformed into Christ-likeness and The Mission of God which is living like Jesus in the midst of a fallen world.
Our values don’t change. Still, we are constantly evaluating how we accomplish them. It’s relatively easy to see how we accomplish Word, Worship, and Community, but it’s not always as easy to discern how we–as individuals, and corporately–accomplish Mission. That’s why we are making our value of “Mission” our primary focus this fall.
Or at least, that’s part of the reason why. The main reason is that Jesus tells us to in the great commission. Which, if we’re honest, scares most of us to death: Do you mean that I have to talk to people about my faith?!? Our fear is fueled by the fact that most teaching on Jesus’s commission to his disciples focuses on what we are supposed to do, rather than on what he has already done, is doing, and will do.
Jesus’ focus is actually exactly the opposite. Check out the structure of the commission:
All authority on heaven and earth has been given to me, THEREFORE…
[insert instructions on what we are supposed to do]
…And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.
Jesus’ focus is on what he has received (authority), what he will do (be with us), and his commitment to stay there until the end (to the end of the age). In the middle, he calls us to mission. Jesus starts and ends with the same thing: our motivation for mission is what he has done, is doing, and will do.
The beginning and end of the mission is Jesus. Unless we get Jesus right, nothing else matters!