Have you ever felt the Holy Spirit tugging at your heart? Have you ever felt Him appealing to you to consider how many people in your community are really far away from God and spiritually lost? I know that I have. Every time I sense the Holy Spirit’s mission appeal, I feel the need and a real sense of urgency to go and share with people how much Jesus loves them.
The practical question that immediately follows this desire is: How can I do it? How am I going to be able to go and make disciples of Jesus when they often don’t really seem interested in spiritual things? Finding the best time to share the good news about Jesus with your friends does not always seem to be easy, and it can feel awkward when you try.
It is time to stop and understand the mission that Jesus is calling us to join. First, we need to understand that this mission is God’s mission. He is the Person that recognised our need way back in the beginning and gave His only Son to die for every person on our planet. Our heavenly Father went on to give us the promise and the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is actively at work in the community, speaking to people’s hearts and appealing to them to respond in faith to Jesus. The Holy Spirit is on His mission of saving people on every university campus, in every night club, and in every Muslim, Buddhist and atheist home. This is God’s mission and I am joining Him on His mission. He is constantly and powerfully at work in people’s lives before I bump into them and say, “Hey! How are you going?” When you really understand that this is God’s mission, you feel really liberated and empowered. You no longer feel like the responsibility of mission lies on your shoulders alone.
When you accept the mission challenge, the Holy Spirit continues to work powerfully in your life too. He uses every moment and every opportunity to transform you to become more like Jesus. He cultivates the fruit of the Spirit in your life: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. And who is not attracted to these beautiful spiritual qualities? The Holy Spirit also reminds you of Jesus’ teachings and gives you the words to say at the right time. You are not alone on this mission, which is very liberating and empowering.
And that brings us to the third key for mission. God intends for us to work together as a church. The Bible tells us that God not only gave us His Son and the Holy Spirit. He also gave us apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. Leaders point out that the word TEAM means “Together Everyone Achieves More.” When we work together with the Holy Spirit and our church, we can truly achieve more. We can enthusiastically and boldly say, “We will go!” just like Jesus asked us to. Being part of a local and worldwide church means that you are not alone.
The worldwide Seventh-day Adventist Church recognises that the Holy Spirit is calling each one of us to join God’s mission. Each one of us is called to go and make disciples. The Church also recognises that the best way to do this is together with our local church. That is why the General Conference has established the Mission Impact Fund which can provide funding for your local church to engage with your community in new and innovative ways. Do you have creative ideas on how your church could meet the needs of your community? Your church can apply for Mission Impact Funding! Many of your questions about this funding are already answered here. Then, talk to the Trust Services Director at your Local Mission or Conference or email Pastor Rodney Woods <RodneyWoods@adventist.org.au> to find out how you can go ahead and apply for Mission Impact funding.
The worldwide Seventh-day Adventist Church is committed to enable you to say “I Will Go!” with your church.
Sven Östring is director of ministry and strategy, South Pacific Division.