GC3 February 2012
Allowing what has inspired us in the past to inform us today

By Russell Thorp, GC3 Missions Director
Issue 1- 2012

I remember reading as a teenager 'Through Gates of Splendour' by Elizabeth Elliot. The story of  ve young American missionaries who lost their lives bringing the gospel to the Auca Indians was used by God through His Spirit to inspire many to give their lives in sacri cial service. Their story was shared in a background where churches felt the call of God to a lost world. As we look back on our mission e orts from the past, there are a number of key ingredients that sparked a surge of mission. We need to ask how they might inform us for what we could do today in order to be more effective.

Our God uses clear Biblical teaching. Mission depends on an authority source greater than your word or mine, crossing cultures and generations, races and ages. Teaching and discipleship bring a passion for Christ where the beauty and glory of Christ captures our hearts, awakens our minds to His truth and grace, winning our love, and motivating us to tell others about Him.

Missions thrive where there is openness to the work of the Holy Spirit. There is nothing better for mission than Spirit-empowered workers with a message infused with  re igniting their hearts.

Missions thrive where there is passionate prayer – prayer for the nations, for mission partners, for the reach of the gospel, and for Christ's glory to be made known. Prayer is a window revealing the condition of our hearts.

Missions thrive where faith is found – faith  lled believers and churches that thrust themselves into their locality and to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8).

Missions thrive when believers display their oneness in Christ (John 17:21-23),  seeking Christ's glory through right living and right relationships.

When Christ's followers begin to 'see' with His eyes of compassion and lost peoplematter (Matthew 9:36, Luke 19:10), evangelism shifts from being the specialised ministry of a few to a core commitment of the whole body.

Do these ingredients shape our mission?

When our mission relies on responding to the needy through a sense of guilt, or through a desire to do something for God as a way to pay Him back for His mercy on us, we are showing that we don't understand grace. God's mission is not just about bringing humanitarian change, though that is part of what He does through His followers. The impetus that will sustain a missionary movement is an overwhelming love for Christ and a passion for His glory to be made known as widely as possible.

In our next publication, we will look at how we can develop practices that lead to e ective mission from your church.

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