So many churches are looking at how to have impact in their society. The danger with this is rushing to the end of the story.

“The whole thing starts with the encounter with Christ and it starts with banding together with others who are experiencing transformation as well being committed to that and then we finally have a message to share.”

Ruth Haley Barton, author of Life Together in Christ, shares the value of transformation and discernment as a prerequisite to missionary work.

“I see it as transformation, discernment and then mission; all in the context of transforming community.”

This can not happen individually, we need to do missions in community and in relationship with Christ.

“We cannot accomplish mission for the long term consistently without having established that transforming relationship with Christ.”

The three pieces build into one another.

“You realize the limitations of who you are humanly speaking, you realize you really do need God’s strength, you need God’s resources, you need prayer. You need to be strengthened in your inner being in order to continue to function in the outer world.

Even your being involved in missions eventually catapults you back into that intimate encounter where you know you need more of Jesus in order to continue to to do his mission in the world.”

By experiencing a spiritual transformation, then discerning what God’s will for us is, will lead us to emerging and accomplishing God’s mission in the world.

There are helpful ways to prepare ourselves for God’s mission field, and the Bible offers wise advice on equipping the body of Christ to accomplish it. As Ruth reminds us, we are to be transformed by the renewing of our minds, Romans 12:2, so we can discern what the will of God is for our lives and carry it out as He intended.

“Paul is actually saying that an intentional commitment to spiritual transformation is a prerequisite to being able to discern and do the will of God.”

Highlight: Our mission

Christ in community

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