Periodically the church flounders in her mission. During such moments the word of God points us in the right direction and reminds us of our purpose in life. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the church to go into introspection and to re-evaluate our commitment to our mission. A friend recently asked me what my prophetic word to the global church would be during this time. This reflection is my answer.
I believe local churches are at various stages in their commitment to the mission of the church. Therefore, I would say some churches need to refocus. This is necessary for them to clearly see what God has called them to do. Loss of focus leads to blurry or even double vision. These churches need to see the mission of the church and begin to participate in God’s mission. Other churches need to realign themselves to God’ mission for the church. Sometimes churches come out of alignment and begin doing programs, that even though good, do not directly contribute to the mission of the church. Other churches need to rethink church so they can come out of the binding traditions that hinder them from being fruitful. Some churches need to restructure for greater mission impact, while others need to reset. This is necessary as they need spiritual renewal to be able to catch God’s heart for the lost.
As part of my reflection I read Matthew 9:35-38 and Matthew 10:1-24. These two passages remind us of what was central in the ministry of Christ on earth and how we have been sent strategically to follow in his example. We are to proclaim the arrival of the kingdom of heaven through Christ, on earth. We have been given authority to proclaim this message and to also exercise this authority over demons, death and sickness. These things accompany the proclamation of God’s Kingdom on earth. Like Israel had become lost sheep, we sometimes lose our way and need to be shepherded back into the fold. Every Christian’s calling is to be a missionary in the world.
The authority of the church comes from Jesus. It is his authority and his agenda that we should follow. On their own the disciples were afraid and weak. The authority of Christ made it possible for them to do ministry both pre- and post the resurrection of Jesus. Pre-ascension he was physically with them on earth and he was with them through the Holy Spirit post ascension to heaven.