You are sleeping peacefully when suddenly - Ring! Ring! You stir a little but begin to slide back into blissful slumber – RING! RING! Ugh! You realize it is your phone, but it is supposed to be silenced. RING! RING! Your annoyed subconscious reminds you it must be a priority call for it to be ringing. Adrenaline kicks in and you bolt out of bed to pick it up. “Hello?!?” you blurt out. Then a familiar voice says three words that will change the rest of your life, “Awake, O sleeper.” The person hangs up. Your heart is beating violently, and you’re trembling as you set your phone down. You realized it has finally happened – your sleeper cell has been activated. You sit on the edge of your bed thinking about what this means. Everything about your life has been intentionally planned out for this moment: the place you live, the job you have, your family situation, your friendships, your hobbies, your neighbors, the stores you frequent, EVERYTHING. Now, it is finally time.
You get up and grab some paper and a pen and begin to make a list. You start with the people closest to you; the ones that you will have the greatest chance to influence. Name by name, you begin to make plans on how you can fulfill your mission. You realize that this is going to take time, but you are committed to do whatever it takes – no matter the personal cost. Now that you have been activated, you only have one goal – to lead everyone in your life at least one step closer to Jesus every chance you get.
I know that seems silly but stop for a minute and consider what would happen if every Christian in Columbus was “activated” tomorrow morning. Imagine how things would change if every single one of us, woke up with the awareness that God has intentionally placed us where we are (in our families, neighborhoods, jobs, etc.) for the primary purpose of impacting our world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We would all become everyday missionaries.
We would start looking for persons of peace (Lk. 10) in every situation (our neighborhoods, workplaces, at sporting events, and even in the stores or restaurants we frequent). We would be praying for boldness to talk about Christ and looking for every opportunity to share what He has done in our lives. We would be brainstorming ways to regularly start new relationships. We would be looking for needs in our communities and ways our “sleeper cells” could work together to use them as an avenue to proclaim the love of Christ in what we say and do. We would be inviting more people to church and actively recruiting new people into our “sleeper cells” to be a part of the mission. Again, think about what an amazing difference would be made if we were all “activated” over the next weeks, months, and years. Columbus (and the world) would be changed if we were everyday missionaries.
Some of you are thinking, “WHOA! He used the “M” word. Not me, buddy. I’m just called to be an ordinary Christian – not an ‘everyday missionary.’”
It is true. Only some people in the church are called to travel to far off places, countries, and cultures to advance the gospel. However, as disciples of Jesus Christ, being an ordinary Christian means we are all called to be focused primarily on advancing the mission of God and living as “missionaries” where He has placed us (Matt 5:13-16; 28:18-20 / Acts 1:8 / Col. 1:28-29).
In Gaining By Losing (a book the Deacons and Youth Mission Team are reading), it is explained this way:
No one can say: “Since I’m not called to be a missionary, I do not have to evangelize my friends and neighbors.” There is no difference, in spiritual terms, between a missionary witnessing in his hometown and a missionary witnessing in Katmandu, Nepal. We are all called to go – even if it is only to the next room, or the next block.
You are either a missionary or a mission field.
There is no third option.
Ring! Ring! Tomorrow morning will you accept the call? Will you wake up “activated?” Will you take some time to write out a plan to reach everyone that God has put in your life and intentionally lead them closer to Jesus every time you are with them? Will you make pursuing God’s mission the focus of everything you do?
Romans 13:11-12 -- Besides this you know the time that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light.