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Mark Driscoll: Revelation
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Resurgence Leadership #033: John Piper, Why I Trust the Scriptures, Part 1
Tue Sep 23, 2014
How to Replant a Church, Part 6: Motivating People for Mission
When replanting a church, it’s crucial for the pastor to keep filling people’s mission tank. So how does a pastor motivate people for mission? Help them find their place in the big-picture story.
The first vehicle I ever owned was a 1978 Toyota pickup truck that literally had a Budweiser beer can and chicken wire holding part of the motor together. It also had a hole in the floorboard, so you could see the road when you drove, and the windshield wipers didn’t work, which made driving in the rain interesting. But the biggest problem with the truck was that it leaked oil non-stop. Every two days, I had to put a quart of oil in the truck, or the motor would blow up along with my teenage existence.
Fill the mission tank
As leaders of the church, we sometimes fail to realize that motivation for mission is like oil in an old truck. When the people of God have heads full of God’s Word and hearts full of God’s passion for mission, they can drive the mission forward for long distances. However, along the journey people get tired and hit bumps in the road, and their motivation for the mission leaks out.
When replanting a church, it’s crucial for the pastor to keep filling people’s mission tank. So how does a pastor motivate people for mission?
Share the big-picture story
If you want to motivate people for mission, they first have to understand what the big-picture story of God’s mission is.
As Christians, we often have a worldview that puts us at the center of the story. When we do this, we have a warped perspective of reality. The story of God includes us, but it is not about us. We are not the main character.
When replanting a church, it’s crucial for the pastor to keep filling people’s mission tank.
The Biblical narrative is about a hero king who rescues his people from brokenness and bondage. Jesus is the hero. We are the people in need of rescue. God’s mission is to save and rescue his people for himself.
The implications of this story are incredibly important for God’s people. When we understand that our lives are part of a greater story, we embrace our part as supporting cast members and are freed to participate in God’s story on God’s terms.
Help people develop a personal, biblical conviction
Conviction is an important element in motivating people for the mission. It works primarily in two ways (both brought about by God’s Word and the Holy Spirit):
- Conviction of sin that leads to repentance
- Conviction (deeply held belief) that we are to live for Jesus’ mission
It is a sin of omission for Christians not to participate in the mission of God. But for Christians to understand this requires the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit. You cannot make this work happen, but you can teach people a biblical understanding of the mission and God’s requirement for us to join him—and then pray like crazy.
The story of God includes us, but it is not about us. We are not the main character.
What you hope to see in the hearts of people is a process that starts with conviction of sin. Conviction is when the Holy Spirit gives us a sense of our guilt for sin (John 16:8–11). This leads to repentance: a change of mind that leads to a change of heart that results in a change of life. The Holy Spirit convicts us of sin so that repentance will happen.
Connect conviction to mission
As pastors, we want to see people grow in grace through repentance, but we also want to see them grow in maturity—maturity that leads to a personal conviction to serve in Jesus’ mission. Maturity happens as people study the Bible, believe what it says, and then align their thoughts and desires to God’s thoughts and desires as seen in Scripture.
The Biblical narrative is about a hero king who rescues his people from brokenness and bondage. Jesus is the hero.
Apart from God’s revelation (the Bible), we can only speculate about what it looks like for us to be personally engaged in God’s mission. But when we study God’s Word, it changes the way we think about mission, and it reshapes our worldview (Rom. 12:2). As our thinking changes, the desires of our hearts change. When the desires of our hearts change, it changes our values and priorities. Instead of desiring to do life on our own terms and live for ourselves (valuing autonomy), we desire to live for Jesus and be a part of his mission (valuing community).
Pastors help people move through this process of developing biblical convictions for mission. This is accomplished through preaching, teaching, and modeling. It starts with the message from the pulpit, but doesn’t stop there. Mission also needs to be experienced in the life of the church. More on that in the next post.
Stay tuned for more posts in this series in the coming weeks as we cover the practical details of replanting a church, including how to raise funds, develop leaders, recruit volunteers, and more.