MY mission for the Church
The mission of the Church is given in Matthew 28:18-20 and Acts 1:8. Our mission is to be witnesses who make disciples, who in turn become loyal and loving subjects of Christ over All.
Therefore my role as pastor is not to build a building or create another program, but to make disciples who in turn will also make other disciples. If a building is needed to do this, then so be it. But building a building is not the end product of my mission for the church. And as much as I love to preach neither is preaching. Preaching is a practice. Practices should be focused on vision and directed toward fulfilling mission, and not be ends in themselves. Preaching should therefore encourage and develop disciples who refract the image of the risen and reigning Christ (2 Cor. 3:12-18).
I don’t want to merely preach on a Sunday morning but actively teach, encourage and develop the church’s Stewards, Trustees, Missionaries, Commissions and leaders in the fundamental doctrines and the spiritual disciplines of the faith and how to apply these in God-given occupations.
Acts 1:8 tells us that disciple-making begins in our immediate environment, and then ripples outward in ever larger circles. Ephesian 4 tells us that it is a church’s members who are to do the work of ministry, not the paid pastors; this ministry is to be done in the home, in the school, and in the work place – in all the “as you are goings” of our lives. A pastor needs to follow the model of Jesus and Paul who trained a few faithful men who in turn trained others this is evidenced in 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus).
I believe if revival, renewal, and awakening are to occur today, pastors need to understand and implement the mission of the Church in pursuit of the vision of the Church. It is one of the purposes of the Church to train disciples for ministry, and it is the practices of the Church that bring this about.
REV. DEBORA LAWSON-SMITH MA, MTS