Thursday, January 11, 2018

A Missional Church Positions Themselves to Hear the "Go" of God

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Maumee Bay State Park, Ohio
As we begin the new year at Redeemer we are focusing on mission and outreach. My prayer is that we become, more and more, a missional people. I want to see every one of us engaged in mission. While it is good to support others on the mission field God has called them to, we the people of God  are called to the mission field, which is, the world.

Mission is about a calling from God. God says, “Go…” The word "Go" is big in missional activity. So is the word "sent." 

Many years ago my mother called me with a prayer request for a friend's marriage. My mother had known this person since her childhood. I knew this couple when I was a boy. My mother told me the husband was having an adulterous affair on this wife. 

As I heard this, I became burdened. The thought, "We have to do something about this!" grew in me. This is how I often experience divine sending and going; viz., I have a burden.

I asked for the friend's phone number. I called her. I had not talked with in years. I had never had a serious conversation with her and her husband, ever. 

I asked her, "Where is he right now?"

"At the other woman's house," she said.

"Do you have this woman's number?"


I got the number, and called the unknown woman. She answered. I introduced myself. I was so nervous! 

I requested, "May I speak with him?" 

He picked up the phone. I told him I talked with my mother, and with his wife. I said what he was doing was wrong. I told him I wanted him to break off the affair, and return to his wife. Shortly after the phone call, he did. I like to think my call made a difference. What I am certain of is that God called me to do this. God had a mission for me. He said "Go," and I was "sent."

Last Sunday morning I shared with our people that we must live in a spiritual position to hear the call of God. My experience is that God calls, daily. To hear the "Go" of God, focus on being in relationship with God. Learn to listen to God. Dallas Willard writes:

"Hearing God depends on there being a personal relationship between ourselves and God. Our failure to hear God has its deepest roots in a failure to understand and grow into a conversational relationship with God, the sort of relationship suited to friends who are mature personalities in a shared enterprise, no matter how different they may be in other respects." (Willard, Dallas. Hearing God Through the Year: A 365-Day Devotional, p. 30)

In my book Praying I say more about hearing the voice of God.

In my new book Leading the Presence-Driven Church I show how to be a church that follows God.