Thursday, 18 January 2007
Authentic Mission will be Incarnational
The Son of God did not stay in the safe immunity of his heaven, remote from human sin and tragedy. He actually entered our world. He emptied himself of his glory and humbled himself to serve. He took our nature, lived our life, endured our temptations, experienced our sorrows, felt our hurts, bore our sins and died our death. He penetrated deeply into our humanness. He never stayed aloof from the people he might have been expected to avoid. He made friends with the dropouts of society. He even touched untouchables. He could not have become more one with us than he did. It was the total identification of love. John Stott
Examples of Incarnational Mission
1. Moravian Christians selling themselves into slavery in order to reach the African slaves with the gospel.
2.Hudson Taylor the founder of the China Inland Mission grew his hair long, dyed it black and dressed like the Chinese in order to identify with the Chinese.
Paul writes: 19Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 20To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. ….21To those not having the law I became like one not having the law…, so as to win those not having the law. 22To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some.1 Cor. 9.19-22
If our mission is to be Incarnational it also means getting inside the heads of those we seek to reach. To reach Mormons or Muslims or the Youth of today we must try to understand what they are thinking – what their fears are ,what their felt needs are, what their problems are, their heart pain and even the history of their group or cult if it’s the J.W’s or Mormons. We must built bridges in order to connect with them. If we have problems relating to our own children we must be the ones the bridge the gap, not them.I remember meeting an evangelist with an eyebrow ring, I judged him in my heart thinking 'who does he think he is: a Christian shouldn't have one of those.' It was me that needed changed. He was from a very privileged background but he was trying to reach the youth of Norwich as Director of Youth For Christ.I had much to learn from him.
Dare I say to reach modern youth we may have to listen to their C.D’s and read their magazines and find out what makes them tick? To reach Post-moderns we must also read their books, listen to their music and feel their angst. WE HAVE MUCH TO LEARN FROM THEM!
Has the Post-modern Church a message for the world? If it hasn't we might as well give up our lives now. 'As the Father sent me' said Jesus ' so I send you'.