You know you’re an apostle, right?
I didn’t say Apostle. I said apostle. The punctuation matters here.
As I read the New Testament, I see Jesus regularly sending out those who follow him. He sends them into cities and villages to share the good news of the Kingdom. And of course, the last thing he tells us is that we are to “go.” Go and make disciples.
The word apostle means “sent one.” All who follow Jesus are sent. So using my old high school logic training, all who follow Jesus are apostles.
John Piper has famously said that there are three kinds of Christians when it comes to world missions. There are those who are sent. Those who support them. And the disobedient.
With full-time, cross-cultural mission work, there is a need for Christians and churches to be purposeful, strategic and intentional about how we advance the cause of Christ throughout the earth.
As a church, we are committed to supporting and sending. Not only do we directly support the work of Little Door International (Henry Lyan) in Myanmar, Grace Missions (Charles and Julie Woodrow) in Mozambique, Teach Beyond (Joe and Dana Neff) in England, Wycliffe Bible Translators (Johnny and Ellen Walker) in Tanzania and Engineering Ministries International (John and Janel Breitenstein) in Colorado Springs, we are also part of a church planting network of churches known as the Great Commission Collective. We set aside significant funding each year to help advance the great work each of these ministries and these individuals are doing.
But what about you? If you and I are really sent ones – apostles – where exactly have we been sent?
Well, look around. Where you are is where you’ve been sent. Whether that’s at home discipling children, having lunch in a local restaurant, or in the workplace – wherever we are is where we’ve been sent. And wherever we are is where we have a responsibility to be an ambassador for the Kingdom of God.
One question all of us have wrestled with from time to time is how we live out our faith in the marketplace, where our primary vocational calling is not disciple making. Most of us have not been hired by an employer to make disciples. We’ve been hired to make sales or to make widgets or to write code or develop strategies or somehow give our time and attention and energy to some kind of business endeavor. How do we best represent Jesus in our work environment?
That’s a big question that can take you down a lot of side roads. But something the author Dorothy Sayers wrote years ago has always seemed to me to be kind of a baseline for how we live out our faith in the marketplace. Taking a carpenter as a prototype for anyone involved in any kind of vocation, Sayers wrote:
“The Church’s approach to an intelligent carpenter is usually confined to exhorting him not to be drunk and disorderly in his leisure hours, and to come to church on Sundays. What the Church should be telling him is this: that the very first demand that his religion makes upon him is that he should make good tables. Church by all means, and decent forms of amusement, certainly—but what use is all that if in the very center of his life and occupation he is insulting God with bad carpentry? No crooked table legs or ill-fitting drawers ever came out of the carpenter’s shop at Nazareth. Nor, if they did, could anyone believe that they were made by the same hand that made Heaven and earth.“
I hope that wherever God has sent you as an apostle, you are praying and looking for opportunities to have spiritual conversations and spiritual engagement with your co-workers and your customers. But before those conversations ever begin, let’s make sure we’re representing Jesus well by being the best ______________________ (fill in the blank with whatever it is you do for a living) you can possibly be.
I have to imagine the Apostle Paul’s tents would have received five-star reviews on Amazon, don’t you think? If he had made lousy tents, do you think anyone would have wanted to hear him talk about Jesus?
I’m sending out the newsletter a day early this week to remind you that this Wednesday is burger time at church! The buns have been bought. The ground beef is prepped and ready to fry. The cheese slices are just waiting to get melty. And the Kona Shaved Ice and the inflatables? Well, let’s just say it’s going to be a big time in the parking lot on Wednesday night!
|We’ll have tables available inside and outside, so you can cool off for a few minutes if you’d like. Take advantage of a great opportunity to invite friends and neighbors, bring lots of kids and let’s have a fun evening together.|
And while we’re talking about food, our own version of a big, bad breakfast will be happening on Saturday, August 13. Great food, great fellowship, a great chance to spend time getting to know guys and hearing about how God is at work in our lives and in our church. Plan to join us for breakfast.
|If you’ve been visiting Redeemer and are ready to learn more about what it means to be a member of our church, circle August 20 on your calendar. That’s the day for our next New Members class. Pastor Matt may be calling you this week with more information about the New Members classes to let you know what you need to do to prepare for the time together. We’d love to have you make Redeemer your church home.|
|Sunday morning, August 21, plan to bring a plate of food with you to church and to stay around when our service is over. We’ll be having an end of summer all church potluck that morning.|
|And as we shared in church on Sunday, we’re just a few weeks away now from the kickoff of our Awana Club ministry for kids ages 3-11 (fifth grade)!|
Three questions for you.
|Have you read up on Awana yet to find out more? If not, click here to read all about it.|
Have you registered your children yet? Do it right now. Click here to get them signed up.
Have you shared the news about Awana with parents you know who have Awana aged kids (3 years old through fifth grade)? We’d love to welcome lots of children to our church to take part in Awana.
I told you on Sunday I’d give you some cut and paste ready text that you can email or otherwise pass along to any parents you know who might be interested. So here goes:
Dear (friend’s name here),
The church we are a part of (Redeemer Community Church) is getting ready to start a mid-week program for kids ages 3 years through fifth grade. The program is called Awana. It’s been around for decades and it’s a great time for kids to learn about God and the Bible and have a lot of fun at the same time.
I thought you might be interested in having your kids be part of Awana at Redeemer. It’s Wednesday nights from 6:30 – 8:15 at Redeemer – 11512 David O Dodd Road, just about a mile away from the Rave Theaters. You can find out more about Awana here. And you can sign your kids up here.
If you have any questions about Awana, let me know. I think your kids would love it!
God has revealed Himself to us for a reason. He intends to do a makeover in each of our lives. And as we’ll see this weekend, King David, in Psalm 19 helps us better understand how God’s works and His word are intended to have a transforming effect in each of our lives.
See you in church.
Soli Deo Gloria!