This post is part of a teaching series on Catalyzing Mission through Preaching.
You Must Be on Mission
The only way to preach missionally is to have relationships with friends and neighbors who do not believe the gospel. Your church will never be more missional than its leaders. Your preaching will not be fruitful in leading people into mission if you’ve not surrendered to the mission yourself. Likewise, it’s foolish to imagine your church engaging in community if you’re not engaged in a missional community. Unfortunately, this is radical! Preacher, you have to be on mission in the world yourself.
How you, as the preacher, live on the mission to make disciple who make disciples will always show you up in your preaching. It will ooze out of your words, passion, preparation, study, and belief. In other words, if you aren’t doing the work of the ministry in your daily life, it will be hard to equip your body for the work of the ministry in their daily lives. But if you are, you’re likely 90% of the way toward using your pulpit to catalyze mission.
Too often, we interact with church staffs that want to see their churches become more missional without doing it yourself. If you’re wanting to transition your church toward missional effectiveness, your staff will need to become the pace-setters in the game, not commentators from the media booth or coaches from the sideline. If you are calling your church to something you aren’t doing, you are a hypocrite and you need to repent. Too often, we want our people to sacrifice and live on mission while we never do. If that’s you (honestly, we’ve all fallen into this leadership sin in one way or another), I want to kindly call you to repentance and faith. Jesus has called you into the daily vision of your church. You may be a big picture leader, but God also calls you to live out the implications of the big picture in small, daily ways, too.
What This Looks Like for Us
At Doxa, we communicate to our church that we as elders will always do what is normative for our entire church. Meaning, if we’re calling people to serve, give, show-up, learn, rest, care for our families, share the gospel with friends, etc. our elders are going to be about those things, too.
What is normative is that I’ll be in a missional community and I will be trying to reach lost people on a day to day of everyday life. I will open my home for hospitality and, I will be sharing the gospel. I will be discipling a few men, my family will be a part of that mission with me, and we will regularly gather with the rest of the body for encouragement and exaltation for the mission on Sundays. That is normative for our church; if I’m not doing that I’m not setting the example for the flock.
If you want to see your church step into mission in your city, you’ll need to step into that mission yourself and then strategically use Sundays to foster that mission.
Are there normative practices that you have for your members that you aren’t engaging in as a leader?