Bible passages: Genesis 12:1-3; Matthew 28:19,20
- Thinking back to Will’s message, what were the main themes that stood out to you? What questions did it raise? And what was God saying to you at this time?
Exploring the Issue
In his message, Pastor Will Small pointed out that before we start talking about what we see as the vision for our church, we need to consider what we see through.
As CS Lewis once said, “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the Sun has risen, not only because I see it but because by it, I see everything else.” Our vision of God changes our vision of everything, it is the ‘lens’ through which we need to view who we are as a church and what is our purpose.
- In your group, discuss what sorts of blindfolds might stop us from seeing what God wants us to be and do? (Read Matthew 13:15; 2 Corinthians 4:3,4; 1 John 2:11; Revelations 3:17,18 to help you identify these.)
- To prevent our spiritual vision being obscured, what resources has God provided to help us see more clearly who He is and what He is doing? (Read Ephesians 1;18; 1 Corinthians 2:10-12).
With clearer spiritual vision, we are able to recognise the true nature of the God who we worship and serve. And what we discover is that God is a missional God who sent His Son into the world to redeem it.
Just as God is a missional God, so he intends that His Church is a missional Church, sent by Him to carry out His work and achieve His purposes. After his resurrection, Jesus commissioned his disciples: “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” (John 20:21). So Jesus’ mission is now ours. Mission is not simply one of the many activities of the church but in reality it is the very essence of the church’s existence. As Pastor Mike Stachura has commented, “A church’s strength is measured not by its seating capacity, but by its sending capacity.”
In his article ‘Why the Missional Movement Must Not Fail’, Australian missiologist and theologian Mike Frost says that Mission is “ … about God’s people finally coming to see themselves as a ‘sent people’ – not merely sent to drag others back to a church service, but sent into every nook and cranny of contemporary society to alert everyone to the beautiful, peaceable, joyous, constructive reign of King Jesus, and to sow the values of that reign into the culture we find ourselves in.”
- Does the preceding quote by Mike Frost ring true as to how you view yourself, your Connect Group and our church? Do you see your core identity as that of a ‘sent person’ – sent by God into the world to do His work? Discuss how we as disciples of Christ and members of Narara Valley Baptist Church can make this vision of Mission a reality.
- Read Matthew 28:18-20 where we find what is known as the Great Commission. What is the main commandment that Jesus gives His disciples? Of whom were they to make disciples? With what resources? And what is the ultimate goal of the disciple-making process?
- For many churches, the Great Commission sounds so daunting that they treat it more like it’s the Great Suggestion. But as Oswald J. Smith said, “Any church that is not seriously involved in helping fulfil the Great Commission has forfeited its biblical right to exist.”
What is our church doing, and what more can it be doing, to bring the good news to those in our community who have never heard it?
- As a ‘sent person’, where is God calling you to be an ambassador for Him? Why has he chosen you? Who are the people and networks in your fields of contact and influence that God can work through you to reach them?
Spend time as a group praying for a greater awareness of what it means to be a ‘sent person’, and recognition of the people and networks to whom God wants to send you to in order to bless them and experience His love.