Go’ers, Senders, and the disobedient
While on High School missions this summer I heard a sermon preached at a church we visited in Wisconsin. Fittingly for our missions team it was on the church of Antioch sending off Saul and Barnabas. The challenge has stuck with me since that day and I found myself thinking about it this morning as I spent time in the Word. Saul and Barnabas had a GREAT thing going at Antioch. It was comfortable, people were coming to them, and they were teaching every day. Acts 11:21 says, “The Lord’s hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord.” After a full year of teaching at the church at Antioch they were called to go elsewhere…their mission for Christ became much more risky. They had been obediant to the call on their lives and they were not about to stick with what they wanted and where their missions HAD been. And because they had been faithful at Antioch they were sent off by their church. Acts 13 says, “In the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers…While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.’ So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.”
Saul and Barnabas were obediant to what the Lord was doing in their lives and to how the Holy Spirit was communicating. As much as they loved life at Antioch, they realized that in order to continue living for Christ they needed to respond to how the Spirit was leading. Paul’s heart was for preaching the Good News of Jesus Christ to those who had not heard it…and he realized, with some nudging from the Holy Spirit, that Antioch was no longer the place for him. He says in Romans 15:20, “It has always been my ambition to preach the gospel where Christ was not known, so that i would not be building on someone else’s foundation.” Talk about a guy who was sold out for Jesus! I want you all to understand today that Saul and Barnabas’s mission is not necessarily yours. I’m not saying to go home today and to pack up and take off. But we all have a mission, a calling on our lives, and a purpose as followers of Jesus. John Piper says that there are 3 kinds of people. First is a Go’er. You feel the Lord needs to you to respond in action…perhaps on a short or long term missions trip or to different parts of your city or maybe even in moves that you have made geographically to share the Gospel. The second is a sender. As a sender, similar to the Church at Antioch, you commission those who feel are being called by God to go. You lay hands on and pray for those with a mission to go. And the last are the disobedient. We fall into one of these 3 categories, maybe even more than one of them. The one we cannot slip into though is the disobedient category. If I’m not going then I need to be sending. If I’m not sending anyone or praying for anyone, affirming God’s movement in the lives of my brothers and sisters in Christ then I need to be pursuing some short or long term commissioning. It is when we ignore both and stay comfortable in our personal Christian bubbles that God is displeased with us. Nothing is easier than staying put…but we need to respond to our faith and to our active relationships with Christ.
Which are you today? Are you a go’er? Perhaps you are a sender? Or maybe you’re stuck in the middle of comfortable…ignoring both. I pray that this challenges you and encourages you today as it did me. Have a fantastic Wednesday