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Simply Church: Mission

There is a lot to say about the mission of the church family in the world. My friend @nate_ray probably has much more to say on this than I do. Again I’m going to limit my focus and zoom in on the mission of the church from a family perspective.

Our family is full of Love. Our Father is Love itself. He has breathed Himself into us, and now we are full of love. Our Father’s love is so big though. He loves to pour out His love on His children. He loves his children loving each other and watching them grow up to look more and more like Him. But it’s not enough for Him. Our Dad wants His family to grow. There’s enough love for everyone.

His first son, Jesus, charged his disciples, who were both his friends and his brothers, to go into the world and teach people to honor YHWH their Father they way that Jesus honored the Father. Jesus makes it clear elsewhere that those who do the will of his Father are his brothers and thereby also have YHWH as their Dad (this is also quite clear in the Jewish tradition that those of the covenant who live by the covenant have YHWH as their Father). Jesus tells us to go out and help people from all nations live and act in a way that makes them sons and daughters of YHWH.

Our mission as a church is to invite people into the family. Because of the great love we have from our Father and for each other, we want the family to expand. A family that has YHWH as their Father will want to and pursue expansion. The beautiful part of what our older brother has done is that he has already taken care of all of the adoption papers for everyone, making a way for all to become a part of the family. We literally can invite anyone into our family. Our Dad will lovingly adopt them because our older brother Jesus will vouch for them. And if Dad wants them, who are we to reject them? The only response is to embrace them as if they are both long lost and brand new siblings. They belong here as much as we do, and they always have.

Sometimes people reject being in the family. Sometimes people reject the family because they’d rather be independent and live in their own house with their own rules. Sometimes people reject the family because the family is dysfunctional. In our world, sometimes the family looks more like a fascist government than an incubator of love. The family can be closed off rather than invitational, or the family may become very particular about who it invites to become a part of it. The outside perception of the family is often that this family is replete with judgmental hypocrites rather than transforming lovers. Whether or not people choose to be adopted by Dad, we should at least have a family that is appealing to those without one.

Creating a family worth being in is one of the reasons why being like Dad is so important. We have to get rid of those areas in our lives, minds, hearts, and souls that run contrary to who our Father is and replace them with attributes that reflect him. Getting rid of those areas is not just for self betterment. We’re not that focused on ourselves. We work out our salvation because that’s what it means to love. The more like Jesus and Dad we are, the better we are at being in relationship. Sin keeps us from loving Dad well, loving each other well, and loving the world into adoption well. One of the reasons sin in our family is so unacceptable is because we then display to the world a family that they don’t really want to join.

When this family is reflecting its Father, it’s difficult to imagine others not wanting to be adopted. This family is where the kingdom of heaven reigns on earth, where what is wrong with the world is set right and where what is right with the world is amplified. In YHWH’s new covenant family… The wounded find healing. The homeless find home. The friendless find friends. The mourning find a shoulder to cry on. The hopeless find hope. The loveless love. The hungry food. The dirty are cleansed. The sinful are transformed. The broken are put back together. The lame walk. The blind see. The slave is freed. The joyful have brothers and sisters to rejoice with. Race, socioeconomic status, country of origin, biological family history, past sins, present issues, gender, and everything else are irrelevant. All who would give up the way of their old family to put on the way of YHWH’s family are welcome to join us and discover life that is truly life. This is the good news that we proclaim to expand the family.

  1. January 26, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    Adoption is huge. Mission of love in family community as a first priority (before outward mission) is often more difficult, but seems to most accurately reflect the Father’s heart.

  2. JL
    January 29, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    deeply inspiring… not only thought-provoking but action-provoking, Jeremiah. i’m going to read it again now and then pray about some things i could do, additionally or differently, to be a better daughter.

  3. January 30, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    Well, thanks Jenn. That’s good to hear! Let me know how the prayer goes.

  1. February 19, 2012 at 3:51 pm

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