Every year in the area I grew up, OMF (Overseas Mission Fellowship) would host a missions conference for churches to keep up on the Christian work happening around the world. Even in the children’s program the focus was on missions. We’d hear missionary stories, learn about different countries, and fold origami or weave African baskets. And so I thought the Great Commission meant traveling to far-off places and coming back with stories about witch-doctors and miracles.
Of course in reality this isn’t it at all. As Carolyn Kemp put it last Sunday, the heart of the Great Commission is about transformation. The transformation of ourselves and, through that, of others. Christ in you, the hope of glory. And as often as ‘going somewhere’ factors into the equation, this isn’t what God is after. How we go is more important than where we go. You see, the more we try to point others to Jesus, the more we need to pause and realign ourselves to Him. It’s about one life changing another. If I could draw a picture of it, it would probably look like a straight line. As God pours Himself into our lives, we are able in turn to pour out into the world. Or you could compare it to any electrical gadget. A mobile phone is quite handy to help connect with other people. But you also need to be consistently charging the battery, otherwise it will die and become no more than a casing of polymer plastic and metal.
No matter how many different ways it’s put, the Great Commission is simply about Christians changing the world with a power proportional to how much God is changing us as we dwell in Him. It is the natural result of a deepening relationship with Jesus.
So if this is what the Great Commission is about, why is it important? Every day we encounter people who are confused, living shallowly, and broken in some way. Have you ever wondered how you should help them? God is enough for each situation, for them, and for everything. This is why it matters. Do you believe that? Are you living it? Perhaps a better question would be, how much are you plugging into God this week?
This was a continuation of our series for this year. You can find the notes of the message as well as the worship at the BCEC Sermon Page or listen to last week’s sermon directly – Why Does The Great Commission Matter?.