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Am I Imposing My Giftings, Emphasis, Context, and Mission On You?

29383_10151650721490087_512193125_nA friend recently asked me if it was possible that I was imposing my emphasis in God’s mission on others. It’s a hard-hitting question that, I admit, has caused me to think. Am I suffering from “My” myopia?

Am I, in a sense, one of those who is placing heavy and unnecessary burdens on people? (Acts 15:28) Am I just exchanging an old fulfilled law with one of my making and being pharisaical by urging others to follow along? (Galatians 3:3)

There are really only two sets of mission in scripture. Mission that is commanded by God for everyone, and mission that is delegated by God to only some. The differences between them can be subtle and subjective. Determining which is which corporately, or as a church, if difficult enough. Determining our personal role in God’s mission is often exponentially more so.

I think that drawing from the scripture and determining the audience, context, and culture can help us decide what aspects of God’s mission are for the entire body of Christ and which are for a select subgroup. The problem remains that there are always those who will try to convince you that there is an elite force in God’s Mission, and a less capable “working class.”

Gone is the idea of a separated priestly class. In its place comes the priesthood of all believers. (1 Pet. 2:9) God’s ultimate purpose or mission belongs to Him. God’s temporal purposes (our mission) ordained by him, belongs to, or has been delegated to us.

One of those mission aspects, The Making of Disciples, appears to have fallen into the crack of uncertainty. Is the making of disciples a mission for all, or for just a dedicated few? Are all gifted and endowed with “the stuff” it takes to make disciples? Does the command to “Make Disciples of all nations,” apply to every believer? If I tell you that as believer, you must make disciples, then Am I usurping “Thy will be done” with “My will be done?”

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    1. Lisa Robinson May 6, 2013 at 3:29 pm #

      Just curious, is this in reference to what I said? If so, this does not really represent what I meant. So just in case, allow me to clarify. God’s mission is for everybody, i.e his church. How that plays out will look differently as will ministry structures according to cultural need. My concern was that only one model was being represented as legitimate (and hence I asked if you were imposing your own cultural context) while others were deemed illegitimate (e.g., people going to a place). To reiterate what I said in another post, God’s mission – what he does through his church- is big enough to accommodate variety because of the multifaceted nature of his movement through his church as a corporate witness to him.

      But if this wasn’t in response to what I said…never mind (said in Gilda Radner Emily Litella voice) :)

    2. Carlos May 6, 2013 at 4:13 pm #

      Miguel…I feel like a baby Christian in view of the things the Lord has revealed to me about how far I am in some areas at being like Jesus but, if this baby Christian can speak to your concern…me thinks you are perhaps being too introspective.

      Paul did not even judge himself in regard to what others thought of him or his statements. He trusted the Lord and looked to Him to reveal areas of failure in his life. Other than that it was full steam ahead to please God as best he knew how.

      May I humble suggest Miguel that you do the same?

      If you sense a mission from God for us all preach it from the housetops…well…at least through your blog.

      Stay open to correction from the members of the Body that show up here. Stay humble but speak out boldly what the Lord has laid on your heart to say brother!

      I don’t think you are superimposing anything on anyone.

      Carlos

      • David Woods May 6, 2013 at 8:07 pm #

        OOOO!!! Good answer Carlos. Maybe even better than mine. If that be possible :-P jk

    3. David Woods May 6, 2013 at 8:05 pm #

      Only those who are mission-minded enough to keep reading your blog. You are talking about what you know. What you know is what God has told or revealed to you. Who He made you to be.

      I think it’s a well known fact that most everyone does it. A mechanic just can’t understand those who forget to change the oil in their car often enough. An A/C man just can’t understand not doing the simple maintenance of changing your air filter in your air intake, but could seemingly care less whether or not you get an annual physical check-up, something a doctor would roll his eyes at every time. Experts focus on what they are good at, and others of us that aren’t so expert at each thing take tips and advice from those who are.

      Whether or not you are imposing anything on anybody or not is not for you to worry about. The Holy Spirit can be trusted to guide each Christian to or away from your blog, and witness to each person which parts to pay attention to, and which to ignore based on who HE made THEM to be. IMHO anyway.

      I see it more as explaining why you do what you do, and as long as you are following Jesus, I see nothing wrong with that.

    4. Leah May 7, 2013 at 2:55 am #

      Some individuals are specially gifted, and given a burden, for the increase of His harvest. I think you are one of these, Miguel. Disciple-making can be an individual calling. But is also the calling of the corporate Body of Christ. There should really be no distinction between disciple-making and community. What do you do once The Lord reveals those He wants to use you in discipling? You teach them to live out discipleship in community! Yes, making disciples of all nations is the mission for all believers, but it will only truly succeed when we see it as a corporate mission empowered by The Lord of the Harvest…the mission of all believers-together-in-unity-in-Christ. If you tell me that as a believer I must make disciples, I’m not going to disagree. I’m just going to tell you it will look different from the disciple-making you are assigned to do…and neither one of us can possibly “make” disciples by ourselves. We would end up trying to see who can put the most notches in the handles of our disciple-making pistols…when all along it’s The Lord who accomplishes the real work.

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