The What and The How
Most Christians would easily agree on the “what.” It is the well-known mission Jesus gives his followers:
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you . . . ” – Matthew 28:19-20
Go and announce the good news of the resurrected Christ to a world without hope. Along the way, welcome others into the work of God, making disciples. Why? Well, if the words of Jesus are to be believed, eternity hangs in the balance. But so, too, does tomorrow.
The daily struggle against injustice and exploitation, fear and brokenness, regret and loneliness, is also very real. We have been invited to partner with God in what he is still accomplishing on planet earth. This is the WHAT of our Christian mission. And that what is as big as it gets.
It is so big and so important that it will require our best God-empowered efforts to do what needs to be done (you probably already knew that though).
But the HOW deserves our attention too.
In an effort to keep our eye on the prize, we sometimes ignore other things happening around us. We overlook and justify ugly practices. We let patterns of behavior settle into our daily routines. Our patience gets shorter and our words are sharper. The culture of Christians—the how we do what we do—begins to sour.
This can’t be what God had in mind for his people. It isn’t what you or I had in mind either. And still, we often settle for energy-sapping, relationship-bruising culture.
Something must change.
When it comes to the Christian life, the what and the how are both important. It is time. Time to pay closer attention to how we say and do things—because a healthy culture will not happen by accident. But it can happen.
Hold onto the mission given in Matthew 28 but never forget that we are called to be image bearers and to reflect the nature of God to a watching world.
“This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.” – 1 John 4:9-12
Interview with John Cooper
Listen in as John Cooper (Skillet) discusses what it’s like to be in the music industry and to simultaneously live out the what and the how of the Christian mission.