Paul presents the Romans with a missional model in Romans 10:
How can they respond if they do not believe?
How can they believe if they have not heard?
How can they hear unless someone communicates the good news?
How will they preach unless they are sent?
We often try to run an attractional model:
How will they respond unless they hear?
How will they hear unless they come?
How will they come unless something great is put on to draw them?
How will something great be put on unless someone organizes it?
Please do not mishear me here. I believe that the gathered community of God’s people committed to biblical teaching, prayer, the breaking of bread and to living sacrificially and generously together is absolutely crucial. I have no doubt that events, courses and programmes have a vital part to play in the mission of the church. But this must happen within the framework of the great commission where evangelism is about going to where people are and taking the good news to them. If our events do not happen within a missional model we will wind up devoting much of our time, talents, energies and resources to the running of programmes which can turn us into managers rather than missionaries.
One of the things that has encouraged me most this year is seeing some of our student leaders commitment to true witness, not just as organizers of meetings but as a heart value which shapes the way they relate to their friends and pursue their studies. It is also heartening to see graduates seeing their workplace and community as places they have been sent to be salt and light.
My Joy in the Desert
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