I am a missionalist. To me, every believer is a missionary. The Church is missionary. Christians are God’s missionary people. I agree with Craig Van Gelder when he said: “The church is missionary by nature because God has sent it on a mission in the world under the leading of the Holy Spirit. It is to bear witness to God’s redemptive reign. Just as God is a missionary God, so the church is to be a missionary church.” (The Essence of the Church, 98)
Here’s my confession: Although I long to be aligned with God’s redemptive heart and to be committed fully to His mission, my own selfishness gets in the way of these desires. I don’t love people like Jesus does. I don’t faithfully pray for lost people around me. I don’t start spiritual conversations as often as the Spirit prompts me to. I’m not building relationships with non-believers in my neighborhood. I haven’t invited my neighbors over for dinner or out to lunch. I’m not a good example of being a missionary in my zip code.
I confess that I struggle to live out the gospel like I desire. I’m guilty of duplicitism – which is the failure of leaders who keep telling people to do what they are not doing themselves. This is a significant obstacle to accomplishing the mission of Jesus. Too many churches are led by pastors and leaders who are not practicing missional behaviors and are not introducing people to Jesus (outside of someone who comes to church).
Paul told the Corinthians, “Follow my example as I follow the example of Christ” (1 Cor. 11:1). Unfortunately, I’m not a very good missional example. If I’m not modeling this, I can’t expect others to do it.
Proverbs 11:3 points out, “The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.” I confess that my duplicitism is hindering my effectiveness as a missionary.
Yet – it’s not enough for me to confess this. I must repent and adopt missional behaviors. This is what I’m trying to do. Please pray for me. If you confess your struggles in this area, I’ll commit to pray for you.
“Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and wonderful results.” – James 5:16