Get-to’s not the Have-to’s

mk1027 asked:

Heard your latest podcast…. you all make it fun and real. I truly respect believers that go to the places 99% won’t go (including me thus far). Mark 16:15-18—-are ALL believers called to evangelical ministry or just ‘those Jesus specifically addressed in the Bible’ ?

I answered:

Thank you for the kind words. Of course, there are places we go on the podcast that most people won’t go, but that no one should go. For example: a discussion of the threat of a time-traveling cyborg Joel Osteen (on multiple episodes).

The passage of scripture you are referring to is often called The Great Commission. It is when the risen Christ tells his disciples to go out and spread the gospel. There are things in that passage that are specific to that group of people, such as driving out demons and healing people. But there the call to spread the good news echoes through time to all of Christ’s followers.

That isn’t to say that everyone is called to go a far off place and talk to people about Jesus full time, but every believer is called to take a part in that. That could be volunteering a once a week, it could mean financially supporting missions, or any number of things. And those are not lesser callings than people who are in full time ministry. In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul writes that all believers have a function in the body of Christ, and no part is more important than another.

We have a saying in Chicago that ministry, and the Christian life in general, is about the “get to’s” and not the “have to’s”. The great commission is not about there being a huge thing you have to figure out and accomplish otherwise you are missing out. It is this: God has a role for you, and it is as important as anyone else’s. 

God could spread HIs word a lot more efficiently without any of us, but He chooses to involve us in the process because of how it helps us grow in our relationship with Him. It’s like a parent letting their small child help make cookies. It’s not about producing the cookies, it’s about the process. There is an amazing thing that we get to be a part of, all of us.

-Matt from The Bridge

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