The Church Post-Covid Part 3: Back on Mission
June 3, 2021 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments
Posted in: Pastoral Encouragement
At the beginning of 2020, the elders of Oak Hills laid out five goals for the new year. One was building bridges in the community for creating opportunities to share the gospel. We were looking at becoming more visible in the community through activities like Old Shawnee Days. We want to be more intentional in reaching and serving our neighbors. The pandemic shut down most of our plans with most everything being canceled this last year and stay at home orders in place.
With the pandemic fading and most everything reopening again, it is time for us to be proactive and strategic in our “longing to make known the astonishing grace of God.” Through the riches of the gospel God has blessed us abundantly. He calls us to be a conduit of those blessings to a dying world. We have been blessed to be a blessing. Let’s get back on mission.
Let me use Colossians 4:2-4 as a means to exhort us for mission. Paul writes:
Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison—that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak.
Being on mission, first and foremost, means diligent, steadfast prayer. Prayer is our means to tap into the power of God. Without God, we can do nothing. With God, nothing is impossible. For what do you pray? Paul asks explicitly for prayer that God would open a “door for the word.” That’s a great prayer request. Would you commit to daily prayer for Oak Hills, that God would open a door for the word in our neighborhood, Shawnee, Johnson County, the KC metro area? Pray that we would actively look for those open doors and be ready to walk through them.
Being on mission, secondly, means looking for open doors for the gospel. Paul was in prison when he wrote Colossians, and he was still looking for opportunities to share the gospel. He did not let the circumstances of life distract him from his calling to preach Christ. That’s a beautiful picture of being on mission. You and I are called to a similar mission. Of course, we are no apostle like Paul, but we are called to make disciples and be witnesses to Christ. It should be a priority in our hearts and minds to look for opportunities to share the gospel and bless people.
Being on mission, thirdly, means looking to use our gifts to bless others. Paul was gifted and called to preach. How are you gifted? What are you passionate about? What do you like to do? How can you use these special qualities, which God has given you, to serve and bless others? As we are praying for opens doors, looking for open doors, we should consider the ways God has already equipped us to serve others. What are our natural doors? One example is my service at Hocker Grove. I like hanging out with middle school students and my schedule is flexible so I can spend a lunch hour once a week at the school. They didn’t let volunteers on campus this year, but I am looking forward to getting back there in August. What about you?
As we come out of the pandemic, let’s be proactive, just like Paul, in seeking opportunities to share Christ. Let’s look for ways to build bridges with the community, using our natural gifts and talents to serve people, so that opportunities to share Christ arise. What will you do?