- The act or an instance of sending. Christians can never argue that we are on a mission as the result of being sent by Jesus Himself. He commanded us to “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to all people and to baptize them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.” (Matthew 28:18-20) Just as it is not ok to be a fruitless Christian and it is not ok to be a stingy Christian, it is not ok to be a missionless Christian. To deny that we are on mission would be to deny Christ Himself.
- A ministry commissioned by a religious organization to propagate its faith or carry on humanitarian work. It is easily argued that the development of a new community and ministry center provides an opportunity for us to do both-share our faith and do the kind of work that will meet human needs.
- A body of persons sent to perform a service or carry on an activity. There is a reason Jesus didn’t look at Peter before He left and say, “It’s all up to you brother. Good luck!” No! He charged all of His followers with the responsibility to carry on the mission. Each of us is challenged to engage on some level with “Mission Possible.” Together we can accomplish what God intends. God’s work is too big for one person to tackle. It will take each one of us and some of our aunts and uncles to pull this off. Kingdom work is about a collaborative, group effort.
- A specific task with which a person or a group is charged. Now we are getting down to brass tacks. Here things come into focus. While all Christians are charged with the task of spreading the Gospel, each group of Christians will have specific ways God calls them to do so. The way we share Jesus won’t look like the way First Baptist or First Nazarene expresses the mission. God has given us a focused mission through a piece of property and it has been given momentum and receptivity because of six and a half years of reaching and stretching and giving and going into this community with the love of Christ. Our mission is specific to us. We are the ones chosen for this task, and I do believe the new ministry and community center is our God-given, God-ordained task!
- A calling/vocation. You know what I have learned about the call of God? You can’t escape it. You can try to ignore it. You can try to run from it, but if you truly love God, eventually it overtakes you. What we have been doing for the last six and a half years has been walking in the calling, walking toward the vision, and everything we have done up to this point together has led us to this strategic, God-appointed time in the life of this church and community!
I received an email from one of our newer families just this week whose name I will not call. I want to share a quote from the email, however, because it illustrates the idea of being called of God to do something significant. The person said, “I would have thought 4 months ago that pledging money to this church was insane and there was no way could possibly afford to do it. But I feel like I can’t ignore this and it’s something we have to do.” Wow! You know when you are walking with God because you will feel the tug and pull of the Holy Spirit. You will hear the whisper of God. Your heartbeat will be tuned to the will of heaven and you will find it a joy to accept the mission God calls you to accomplish.
When I read these definitions of the word “mission” I was in agreement, on fire, and found a greater energy and enthusiasm than I had before I had read them (if that’s possible!) I am not, however, in agreement with 2 of the definitions for the word, “possible.”
- Being within the limits of ability, capacity, or realization
What we are about to undertake together is NOT within the limits of our ability or capacity. I believe what God has called us to do is financially bigger than we are and will require even more people who are not yet here, but who are on their way. We cannot make “Mission Possible,” possible, but God has promised to make it possible as we stick with Him and stick together. Did you wake up this morning thinking, “I’d like to do the impossible?” Perhaps not, but let me tell you that is exactly what we are embarking to do with God’s help. We are doing the impossible!
- Being something that may or may not occur
This definition tells us what we are about to do isn’t a sure thing. It could all fail. It may all go up in a puff of smoke before our very eyes. However, we know that as we have been led by faith and called of God that whatever God sets out to accomplish cannot fail. This is SO happening! Look at your neighbor and tell them, “This is SO happening!”
No, this isn’t in the realm of possibilty in the human realm. But this IS something that is unfolding before our very eyes. Do you know what makes “possible” possible? Faith! I don’t have to hope this is going to happen. I don’t have to wish this is going to happen. I only have to believe what God has said! He has said this is the path. He has said now is the time. And He has so eloquently said, “With Him all things ARE possible!”
- Having an indicated potential What I love about that definition is that it means the word “possible” is full of possibilities. Think of the potential for ministry with two gymnasiums! Think of the potential for ministry in a space that seats 1200! Think of the potential for ministry to children and youth in large, open spaces! Think of the potential when Putnam County and beyond seeks us out because we have something that will meet their need! Think of the potential for ministry when we can hire a staff person to develop and oversee community programs to meet people’s needs seven days a week!
I do like this last definition for the word “possible.” It means:
Mission Possible! How will it happen? 1. Any mission that is accomplished first starts with a dream! What could God do with our resources turned into a new community and ministry center? The possibilities are endless! Just last week the children in children’s church were asked to dream. They were then asked to put those dreams on paper as they were to draw pictures of what the property development would include. I’d like to share some of their dreams with you!
PICS drawn by the kids:
Turn to Genesis 37. Joseph is one Bible character who is a man after my own heart. He was a dreamer. And he dreamed big! He was one of 11 sons at the time of this story and being his father’s favorite led to his brothers being jealous and hating him. We pick up the story in verse 5:
Genesis 37:5-11 Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him all the more. He said to them, “Listen to this dream I had: We were binding sheaves of grain out in the field when suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright, while your sheaves gathered around mine and bowed down to it.” His brothers said to him, “Do you intend to reign over us? Will you actually rule us?” And they hated him all the more because of his dream and what he had said. Then he had another dream, and he told it to his brothers. “Listen,” he said, “I had another dream, and this time the sun and moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me.” When he told his father as well as his brothers, his father rebuked him and said, “What is this dream you had? Will your mother and I and your brothers actually come and bow down to the ground before you?” His brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the matter in mind.
Many of you know Joseph’s life story and how the next part of his life looked more like a nightmare than a dream. He was sold into slavery by his brothers who told their father he had been killed by a wild animal. As far as his dad now knew, the dream was dead along with his son. God caused the dream to go “underground” if you will, for a time in order to work His plan at just the perfect time.
Joseph became a servant in Egypt in Potiphar’s house and was falsely accused of wrong doing by his master’s wife. He was thrown into prison where he spent at least 2 years before God elevated him to second in command to the Pharaoh!
Being reported as dead didn’t kill the dream.
Being sold into slavery didn’t kill the dream.
Being falsely accused didn’t kill the dream.
Being put into prison didn’t kill the dream.
The passing of time didn’t kill the dream!
The dream was simply an underground reality until God’s appointment time! When Egypt needed a new second in command person, when they needed the skills of a dreamer like Joseph, when they needed someone to manage the country in light of a coming famine that God had revealed to Joseph through a dream, he was the one chosen for the job! And guess who came to Egypt? Guess who bowed down to Joseph? Guess who needed what God had put Joseph in charge of providing? That’s right, his brothers! While Joseph’s dream came true in that moment when his brothers bowed down to him, there will still a greater reality, a greater dream that unfolded as God used Joseph’s insights and abilities to minister to countless people! What you can dream is only the tip of the iceberg! God shows us enough just to whet our appetite, just enough to get us moving forward, must enough to get us to step out on faith, and then He blows everything up in a good way as we watch Him do “exceedingly abundantly above all that we can ask or think” (Eph. 3:20).
Had Joseph not had those early dreams and aspirations when the opportunity presented itself to rise to such a position, especially as an outsider, as a non-Egyptian, when asked if he would like to be the Czar of Egypt he could have likely thought, “I can’t do that! That’s too big for me! I don’t see me being able to fill those shoes!” Instead, he was probably thinking, “This is what I have dreamed of all my life! This is what I was made for! I knew it all along! This is what God intended! I just didn’t know it would require being sold into slavery and imprisoned to get the job! But here I am ready to make the dream reality!” He had kept the dream alive in his heart so that when the appointed time came he was ready to step from the dream world into reality.
Teays Valley Church of God, this dream has been underground for 12+ years—ever since the property was purchased. There have been some unexpected twists and turns along the way, but the while the dream has been underground, God has been preparing the soil of our hearts, the soil of our spirits, the soil of our resources, and the soil of this community! This is it! This is the moment! This is the time when we step out of the dream world and into reality. From underground, unseen, spiritual soil preparation to now physical, 3 dimensional, earth and soil preparation all because we have kept the dream alive!
2. Any dream that becomes reality will result from living God’s way.
One repeated theme throughout Joseph’s life is that God was with Joseph. He was with him when he was a servant in Potiphar’s house and Genesis 39:2 says because of that, Joseph prospered. He was sort of elevated to head servant. Again, while in prison, we read that God was with Joseph in Genesis 39:21 and as a result, he was put in charge of the others in prison.
God was with Joseph, but Joseph was also with God. When tempted to sin by committing adultery with his boss’s wife, he refused. Genesis 39:8 reads his response to his boss’s wife who was making advances at him: “With me in charge,” he told her, “my master does not concern himself with anything in the house; everything he owns he has entrusted to my care. No one is greater in this house than I am. My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?” And though she spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her or even be with her.
Joseph lived a “no compromise” life. He was God’s man. He was going to live in a God-honoring way. As a result, God used the circumstances of his life to make Joseph’s dream reality. In a twisted turn of events, it was Joseph’s integrity that landed him in prison. Isn’t that a nice reward? However, had he never been in prison, he wouldn’t have encountered people who needed their dreams interpreted and one of those people wouldn’t have gone on to tell the Pharaoh they knew a man who could interpret dreams when the Pharaoh needed that service. That entire chain of events is what was responsible for taking Joseph straight to the top!
You see, Dreams become reality as we honor the Lord.
The dream we are making reality requires that we listen to God, follow His lead and His timing, which we have done and will continue to do. It also involves our commitment to the dream which requires we give of our resources. Today, as you make a pledge you are saying, “God I am willing to make the dream reality by using my finances under Your direction.” Perhaps you aren’t yet a tithing member of this congregation. Maybe God is using Mission Possible not to invite a pledge from you, but to invite that you start living God’s way in the area of your finances. Beyond that, God is inviting us to follow His lead and to commit to giving an amount we have prayed about over the next three years.
Just as Joseph trusted God to see him through, to get him out of slavery, to get him out of prison, and to right the wrongs that had been done to him and he did so without lacking integrity in his walk with God, God wants us to trust Him. He will see us through these next three years. He will make “Mission Possible,” possible, and His way of doing so is through US! God says we are to “walk by faith” and not by sight. We can’t make a commitment based solely on our bank account, but on an amount God has revealed to us. He wants to bless us with resources for Mission Possible, but He can only do so as we are willing to trust Him by faith.
And what happens when we honor Him? Proverbs 3:9-10 “Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.”
I interpret that verse to mean that not only will we as individuals be blessed and see an increase, but also we will see an increase in this church as people are saved and others who are hurting and broken find healing and strength!
And let me tell you something, I know several of our children and youth who are leading the way and making pledges of their own. Without even having jobs or any steady income, they have sought God and are willing to forgo using some money that will come into their lives at Christmas and Birthday times and through seeking odd jobs during the next three years in order to see the dream become reality. I know one young person who is committing $1,000.00! That is awesome! God will never embarrass those who walk by faith. He will never let them down. If He has spoken an amount to you, it will be given to you in order that you may give it. If it is something you can do on your own, it is your dream. If it is something you trust God to do through you, it is God’s dream, and God’s dreams for us don’t fail!
“Mission Possible.” We have held on to the dream. What we believe about giving God’s way from here forth will determine how quickly it becomes a reality. Out of all of the churches in the Valley, God has chosen us for this Mission. Will you keep the dream alive with me and create reality with me as we believe God for all things possible? Teays Valley Church of God, will you accept this Mission Possible!