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Time to Grit your Teeth and get in the Local Mission

So many–pastors, churches, women, men–who intentionally enter some slice of their community to represent Jesus and respond to the mission of God start by gritting their teeth and finally giving it a try. They’ve heard about it, talked about it, prayed about it, but never did anything about it. There is a lot of talk, but much less action.

To be fair…it is a leadership challenge!

And not an easy leadership challenge, right? Whether introvert or extrovert, doing something you’ve never done before, doing the unfamiliar…that’s hard to lead, and hard to do. Before we “lead the world,” we need to learn to lead ourselves!

Here are two tips to enhance whatever you’re doing, or whatever you’re still talking about doing.

  1. Gritting your teeth is a great place to start. Get into new outside-the-church territory, but remember that fruit is likely born when you start to enjoy people, learn their “language” and “customs,” and embrace the culture.
  2. Consider the cost of what you’re doing. There’s another prince who claims the territory you’re stepping into. Don’t be naive. Paul warned:

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. –Ephesians 6:12

… and you represent One who is greater than he who is in the world!

Two questions:

  1. Where is your church sent as a missionary? Where are you sent? Do you live it?
  2. Are you prepared to go for the prize of seeing God work and people come to faith?

Most people, most churches, quit because they never get past the “grit your teeth” stage and into the mission field. They were never able to establish a comfortable rhythm of letting the Spirit of God lead and open doors. Did you quit?

In both cases, it’s a leadership challenge.

Jock Ficken
PLI Executive Leader

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