It crossed my mind the other day that when I hear my local church community mention ‘mission’, what I often am hearing is the phrase ‘missions projects‘.
When I hear that we are connecting with needs around our community,
-my brain immediately jumps into task mode:
…Sounds like an interesting “missions project” coming up!
Maybe I could be involved?
.. I should ask that lady 3 pews up to help.. we’ll need sign up posters. There’s that Michaels coupon we could use for supplies… Someone’s going to have to order pizza if this meeting is after church. Need to email xyz church and see how they did this project.. Don’t need to reinvent the wheel! .. Need to get my police check renewed still. If we can get the whole volunteer team on google calendar it will be easier to schedule meetings..
And suddenly that beautiful invitation to participate in Mission
-becomes the heavy weight of a project.
My ‘List-Making Train’ leaves the station very quickly to destination Project Completion.
And I am increasingly exhausted.
God? You know I love you. You know I want to serve you – but does your Mission always have to involve so much Bristol Board?
And I know, this fatigue just simply won’t do.
But I thank God.
I thank Him, that when I come to Him all in a tizzy because I am tired and fatigued by “His Work”
He says to me,
Have you forgotten that my yoke is easy & my burden is light?
Stop this frenzied list making as though your lists are going to change the world.
Let go of your Religion
Sit with me awhile and laugh.
Live in me.
Let my love shape all your breathing, waking, eating and working.
It is in this Love that we will see wounds healed, brokenness restored, and all things made new.
This, is my Mission.
And it is that voice that calls me home to the things I know.
That underneath all my frenzy, there is a faith in the God who authors Restoration & Redemption with or without me!
Do I believe there is a place for my lists, my pizza guy on speed dial, and all my bristol board?
There is a huge need for organizational tools in our communities.
I just know that for myself, when the word “Mission” becomes synonymous in my mind with “Project Management” my heartbeat for God’s mission fades little by little.
As social activist & theologian David Bosch says,
“Mission is not primarily an activity of the church,
but an attribute of God…
Mission is thereby seen as a movement from God to the world;
the church is viewed as an instrument for that mission.
There is church because there is mission, not vice versa.
God is a fountain of sending love…
To participate in mission,
is to participate in that movement of God’s love”.