Aug20

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Yep, that’s me. I owned them, the original bell-bottomed jeans, with contrasting pockets and frayed hems.  I not only owned them, but wore them with pride. Leisure suits, thick heeled shoes (I prefer to think of them as “thick” rather than “high-heels”), long curly hair, wide sideburns and yes…the mustache…..the “70’s fad”.

I could list the nuances of the “preppy 80’s”, when I launched into my 20’s navigating married life & a year and a half later parenting.  Our little world was submerged in my first ministry position and the navigation of a huge learning curve that came with growing up in a pre-Christian home.

I could tackle descriptions of the 90’s and into the 21st century and the changes that are seen year by year.  We laugh at the pictures, celebrate the fun and morn some poor choices that went along with each changing “fad”.

Today, however,  I find myself in more of a concerned grieving mode regarding “fads”.  As I observe and serve our over 1,900 Missouri Baptist Churches, I often wonder if the focus of the church on the Great Commission…was possibly a passing fad.

When the romance of “international mission trips” fades and the crunch of the American economy falls on a church budget…it seems for some…the call to the nations can be packed away, and a new, “cooler” image can be obtained. For them, going to the nations was a “fad” to be replaced with the next new thing.

From the heart of God however, the Great Commission was never designed to be “faddish” in nature, but rather the DNA of  who we are as Christ followers, and why we exist as churches. His instruction through the words of our Savior “to your town, then the next, and the next…and even to the ends of the earth” were not intended to be slid on as an exciting new trendy outfit, worn in the first decade of the 21st century but discarded to the back of the closet when the “new” was no longer new. The Great Commission was given as our road map to Kingdom purpose, to be embraced as our standard for all times, regardless of what “new” surfaces to claim our attention. Gospel Advancement cannot stop with “my town and the next…and perhaps the next”. It is crucial that we not loose focus and retain the Gospel solely within the boarders of our United States of America and treat the vast global darkness as though it no longer exist.  Mission obedience as a “fad” is disobedience to the Great Commission.

Concerned grieving – “concerned” that we are at a crucial tipping point in Global Missions…the American church can retreat back within our boarders, focusing on those who have access to the Gospel…or we can press forward with the DNA of our Father; for the nations. “Grieving” that yet today in 2013 there are many people/language groups who have yet to hear the Good News of the Gospel once. My greatest fear is that another generation may  pass before they do.

The Mission of God is not a past fad – it is a current mandate. We must press on.

 

 

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