Hi, I am Bevin with GlobalCAST Resources and we’d just like to stop and acknowledge something. There is a dark side to missions mobilization. Think about it, when people hear of a missions event, often they’re going to find something else to do. Why? Because they’re expecting some guilt manipulation. Maybe pictures of overwhelming need, maybe being shown that they’re not giving and praying and going enough and they’re thinking I’ already know I’m falling short, Thank you very much! I don’t need more of that.
And yes it’s true that missions mobilizers have often resorted to guilt, shame, fear, need, as ways to try to motivate people to step up into their roles in the great commission. And we keep using those tools because, they kind of work… but only in the short run. And they really aren’t Gods heart for the long-term motivations for engaging with his mission. And so what is a life-giving way to motivate and mobilize people into their roles in the Great Commission. One way we have kind of looked at this is to think about the two trees and the Garden of Eden. You’ve got the Tree of Life and The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. And perhaps the tree of life in its roots is the motivation of love. But perhaps the tree of the Knowledge of Good and evil in its roots the motivation is judgment. We are putting ourselves in the position of determining what’s right and what’s wrong what’s good and what’s bad.
And often as missions mobilizers, we are coming in operating out of the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Where we’re putting our selves in a position of judge and evaluating what’s good and what’s right how they’re doing enough or not. And the interesting thing is you could be technically correct in your judgment, in your evaluation, that this community is relatively clueless about missions. But if you’re operating out of judgment it’s just not going to bring life… ever. And the defenses in people’s hearts and minds will come up. Right?
So what would it look like to mobilize out of the Tree of Life? One story that helps get at this is the story of the Moravians. Many of you have heard of the story of the Moravians their first fruits were two young guys who took a one-way ticket on a ship to an island of slaves who had no access to the Gospel. And as their ship was leaving the shores they called out over the rails to their loved ones “May the Lamb that was slain receive the reward of His suffering”. And that became the rallying cry of a whole movement that lost so many to the utmost parts of the earth. But we love that the motivation was, The Lamb, the worthiness of Jesus, not ultimately the lost but Jesus’s worthiness. And perhaps this is one life-giving tree of life motivation for missions is to highlight the fact that Jesus is the one who is worthy. We’re not alternately calling people to lay down their lives for the lost, we’re calling people to lay down their lives for Jesus and do it by reaching people and bringing the worshippers in. Because he’s worthy of the worship of every single unreached people group. So “May the Lamb that was slain receive the reward of His suffering” might be a tree of life motivation for missions.
PhPhoto by R.D. Smith on Unsplash