Our mission hasn’t changed

By Jessica Brodie

Roughly 2,000 years ago, just after his crucifixion, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ walked among his disciples for 40 days before he ascended to heaven. During that time, he emphasized a few key things: He urged them to feed his lambs and tend his sheep (John 21:15-19). He promised them the Holy Spirit would come as their advocate and friend (Luke 24:49). And he told them their job was to go and make disciples, sharing the Gospel to all ends of the earth and baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19-20).

All these years later, is this still our mission? Are we still focused on what Jesus told us to do? Or are we perhaps confusing and diluting it with an emphasis on calling out sin or fighting against the world’s culture?

I admit it’s really hard to be a follower of Christ, a genuine Christian, in a world like this and not feel aghast. Morals values are often so skewed. We see all the things going on around us and we think it’s up to us, God’s church, to speak out about them. And maybe it is—sometimes.

But consider: Is this the main job Jesus gave us? As Christians, is this our primary mission?

We all have different spiritual gifts, and we all have different passions. Each of us brings something different to God’s table. There is nothing wrong with this. But we can’t let these other concerns get in the way of what Jesus wanted us to focus on most importantly. 

In less than two months, United Methodists from all over the globe will gather in Charlotte to do the business of this church and debate hundreds of legislative items. Meanwhile, churches are fighting about financial issues, theological questions and whether or not they even want to remain in this denomination.

And outsiders, potential Christians who have not yet crossed that threshold, are looking at all this unrest and wondering: Where is Jesus in all of this? Is this what the church is all about?

No, this is not what God’s church is about.

God’s church is about sharing the gospel so all can hear, about inviting others into God’s kingdom so they, too, can enjoy eternal life and experience God’s peace.

Remember: Our mission has not changed.

Let’s do our part to be more concerned with bringing others into God’s kingdom than anything else.

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