• Our hope-filled future is bound up in sharing the story of Jesus, in discipling others, in bringing those disciples together into communities of believers, and in developing and releasing those believers to create other communities... till Jesus the King comes again!

Lessons Learned❸

Number❶ take-away: Preach, proclaim, and share the Gospel fearlessly

Number❷ take-away: Recognize that we are living in the 21st century

So then, my number ❸ take-away would be: Live out our identity.  The biggest challenge for Christians, for the global body of Christ, is to live what we say we believe and hold to.  When those who are not part of the community of believers accuse the church of hypocrisy, there is a large element of truth in that criticism.  Jesus called us out to be “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession that we might proclaim the excellencies of him who called us out of darkness into his marvelous light.” (1 Peter 2:9)

That should mean that Jesus, and our being united to Him, changes not only the way we lead our spiritual lives, but the way we live out our everyday life in this world whether in the marketplace, the school, the home, the neighborhood or the community.  If we say that “God transforms lives”, then how does our life demonstrate that transformation?  And how does the church bear witness to that transformation in the ministries it is involved in?

Watch this video presentation from Day 2 of the Lausanne Congress: http://conversation.lausanne.org/en/conversations/detail/11415

As I said in a previous post, I am not saying that we should shift all of our focus from establishing communities of believers to issues of social justice, but the communities we establish must engage the world around them.  The Gospel, by its very nature, seeks to transform lives in all aspects of what it means to be human, created in God’s image.

It starts from a daily remembering of who we are in Christ because of what He has done on the cross. 

What has God been teaching you today about your sin and His great love?  And how has that “transformed” your life today?

2 Responses

  1. In order to live out our identity we need to know with clarity and precision who we are. Who am I in Christ? Who are we in the church of Christ? Who are we as a mission agency –World Team? We can not live out our identity if we we have clearly understood who we are? Know how to identify ourselves in a foreign culture can be very tricky which is dependent on a number of factors including how we think about ourselves.

    I Peter 2: 9 is a good starting point that needs to be applied together with other biblical principles such as Romans chapter 12. (Note verse 3 –this whole section of Romans is about our identity.)

    Do we have a clear and adequate sense of identity as a mission agency? An agency identity should include the following components:
    1. We advance our mission of … (our purpose)
    2. …and seek to… (impact and results expected)
    3. …by severing… (who we wish to reach)
    4. …in… (geographic areas and/or kinds of envionments)
    5. …through… (means or services used)
    6. …and emphasizing how we can justify our existence… (What is true about our agency that makes our existence necessary or important in the completion of God’s evangelistic mandate? What do we bring to the table that make us different from all others? A for profit would ask, “What is our competative advantage?”)
    7. We are sustainable by… (What are our funding sources, and what is it about us that donors should be motivated to support us?)

    A clear and adequate statement completing the sentences above would give an identity to live out as an agency. Too many agencies have fuzzy policies and strategies because they do not have a clear identity. What are we seeking to live out as an agency?

    • Thanks for thes insightful comments and probing questions. One clarification. I’m assuming you meant to write “by serving” in point 3 and not “by severing”.

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