Christian Mission Umbrella
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Christian Mission Umbrella
Page 7

Evangelism

Mission UmbrellaThe Rev David Watson (1933-1984) the British author and evangelist, once described the church in terms of a bus! The driver was up front and the passengers all faced forward too. Somebody even came and took your money! Like a passenger vehicle, the Christian community moves forward while Jesus steers! Everything that happens inside that "vehicle" is the mission of the church. The word "mission" in this context is a term that includes all the activities that are performed within a fellowship, church or congregation. In a healthy church, evangelism is one major element, worship another and social activity is another. Together these and other aspects combine into the "Christian mission umbrella." Umbrellas date back 3 thousand years even to ancient Egypt. Umbrellas were used not only for protection from the sun but as a symbol of wealth. If one element in this mission umbrella is neglected then the Body of Christ becomes unbalanced. A small ear infection can cause a full grown man to stagger and fall. In the same way, an overemphasis on one element of the Christian mission such as worship to the detriment of others disrupts the Body's delicate balance.

Fulfilled Christian Ministry

Muscle ManGod has called us as disciples of Jesus to have a fulfilled Christian ministry within the Body of Christ. I have had the personal experience of being bedridden and finding that an arm or a leg that was not exercised had quickly lost its strength. Once you have been incapacitated for any length of time, you cannot leap out of bed and immediately walk. You need time before you can hobble, then limp, then step out as before. So it is when evangelism is not practiced by the local church. At first it feels very strange, and the movements tend to be over exaggerated like a toddler learning to walk again, but finally, it takes its normal place in the life of the fellowship. We experience fulfilled Christian ministry once again. "Balance" is an important word for the church's activity, and by that, I do not mean "compromise." Saint Paul told his assistant Timothy in 2 Timothy 4.5, "As for you, endure suffering, do the work of the evangelist, fulfill your ministry." Note the absence of compromise here even though it means enduring suffering. Some congregations did not know fulfillment in Christian ministry because they leave certain things like evangelism out!✞

Benjamin Disraeli

Benjamin DisraeliBenjamin Disraeli (1804-1881) the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom once wrote, "The great majority of men exist but do not live." It is also true that the great majority of Christian congregations exist but do not live! The Early Church discovered the secret of living and not just existing. It learned to enjoy fulfilled Christian ministry as the Body of Christ.

"Christian Mission Umbrella"
by Ron Meacock © 1982-2019

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