"And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. - Acts 2:45-47
On Sunday, we examined the DNA of the New People found in Acts 2:42-47. The identity of these new people is they were Living Devoted To Mission. Mission is a buzzword in evangelicalism that has led to countless strategies, ministry models, and conferences.
All these things are good, but it has created such a complexity. I personally vote for a more simple approach, because mission should not be a chore or a task, rather a joy. I’d like to persuade you with several ideas on mission that can be seen through lives of the early church in Acts 2:42-47 and then conclude with some practical examples for Living Devoted To Mission.
Mission should be indigenous. Peter preached a message, people responded in faith and were baptized in the city of Jerusalem. As you read these verses you will notice the new people did not plan a mission trip to the Americas. They simply worked and stayed home; where God had placed them. People living among their family, neighbors, and co-workers. Unfortunately, we miss out on this, because the next door neighbor’s yard looks horrible, or the co-worker is overly needy, or that family member gets on your nerves. God gave you a job you possess, money you purchased your house with, and put you in the family you have for a reason: MISSION. People need Jesus and are going to hell, we just need to grow up. Living devoted to mission means living indigenously, which means living on mission where you are.
Mission should be informed. This community of believers were living informed of the needs of others. They didn’t just live in their community, but they knew it. They knew the people of their community and what was going on in their lives. For so many us, we are perfectly content knowing nothing about the people we live amongst. It is now normal to know nothing about your neighbors or co-workers. The only things we do know are the things we do not like about them. Marriages are falling apart, parents trying figure how to deal with difficult children, husbands are losing their jobs, while we sit, claiming to have the best news ever: JESUS. Have we just agreed that Jesus is the best news the world could ever know, more than we believe it? Missionaries living devoted, must do so informed of people’s needs.
Mission should be intentional. The Christian Community was intentional with their time. In verse 46, we see the believers still attending the temple. Which raises the question, why? Why did they still attend a temple, who was still looking for the messiah? The Christian Community continued to honor their heritage, but they attended the temple out of a zeal to share the Gospel with Jewish brothers and sisters. They could have easily stopped, but they were intentional to leverage any opportunity to share the Gospel. We are intentional to leave early enough to miss traffic. We are intentional to set the DVR for our favorite TV show. We are intentional to not get cheated by the department store. We need to direct this same focus to the people God has placed before us. Living devoted to mission demands an intentionality.
In closing, we really believe the Gospel is the best news the world will ever know. Our hope as Pastors of The District Church is to lead a movement of disciple-makers, who passionately live devoted to mission within the various areas of our city that represent us. We are praying for Gospel saturation through your obedience to live devoted to mission.