What is the missional call of your church?

What is the missional call of churches today? If you would ask this question to 10 different pastors, I would not be surprised to get 10 different responses. Yet, I suspect we would find various approaches to relate a key common core element of the mission, “sharing the gospel message.” We would also find various requirements to the “gospel message.” Hence, the difficulty in the landscape of Christianity today across the United States. What is “true faith?” How is one saved? What is the correct order of events and exactly, when does the Holy Spirit enter the equation of salvation?

Okay, now I have opened the proverbial “can of worms.” I can see it now, ministers fielding questions from members, people laughing at how ridiculous all this sounds, and others slapping their legs with their hands and saying, “Look the church can’t agree on salvation, no wonder we don’t go any more!”

But wait, maybe this is the hook that keeps you reading. So what is the missional call of churches today? Is it to offer free food, gas cards, and free stuff so that you can live easily? After all, a church that cares, shares! Is it to have larger seats and more room between the pews or chairs to make it easier to maneuver in the church sanctuary, big screen TVs, bands, and be entertaining? After all, if they feel like they are in their living rooms, they might feel more comfortable attending Worship. Is it to have the latest and greatest, and give money to mission organizations to come to the aid in times of crisis? This is needed for certain as well. Or is the missional call of the church to share the truth about the gospel of Christ? I am not talking about a relative truth, but the person who’s name is Truth. See Jesus stated, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and no one comes to the Father except through me.”

So who is Jesus anyway? He is the begotten son of God, who came to this earth in human form so that we may relate to God and God could show His love for us, by sending his son, a piece of himself to die on the cross, undeservingly for sinners around the globe. But here is the hard fact, It doesn’t matter how big a sinner or how big a saint we think we are, since none of us are worthy of salvation without the sacrifice of Christ. See God loved us before we were even loveable or shall I say, while we were dirty, covered in slim, muck, and yuck. God seeing us in our situations in life decided to give us hope and a way to come to him and be changed. Yes, I said changed. Yes, you may come to church as you are, but you are expected to leave, changed in your heart. Conversion and salvation are not just words but an actual change in a person. Our hearts, our minds, and our wills are changed. When we confess that Jesus Christ died for us (me) and believe that fact in our hearts, mind, and will, then we believe Jesus loved me enough to die for me. It should change us. This change or the beginning of it should cause us to change our hearts from hate of self and others to adoration to God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit. It is like when a baby is born. One minute the mother is screaming in pain and the next crying for the joy of seeing the newborn baby, all pain is gone for that instant, and pure joy abounds. That is what we should experience when we have our hearts changed. It will then cause our minds to think differently, different priorities and different desires because we want to please God.

Unfortunately, we live in a society where we want God to rubber-stamp our actions and if he doesn’t, we then reject God. The church is to be accepting and if it isn’t then it is unbiblical and bigoted, but therein lies the problem. Society doesn’t want the truth with a capital T. So, the church is mocked, shamed, and called names because it speaks of a man who offers a new life to those who will believe and be changed. So, is the issue with the church and its confusion on process and mission, or is society confused about the solution to the obstacles facing it in the growing conflicts and encampments of people wanting their way? Back to my question, “ What is the missional call of the church?” May I suggest, we offer truth? After all, truth will set us free. Search for truth in your journey in life! Are you connected to a church body? Do you attend? Have you considered seeking truth and not just passing judgment on the church because it doesn’t allow you to do life your way? Again, seek truth and may you be changed!

The writer is the pastor of Immanuel Church of Kettlersville, Ohio.