The town I live in has a very active Army National Guard station. Because of this it is common to see military men and women in uniform. Recently this got me thinking about their training and how it relates to the church. In the National Guard they train regularly. They do this not knowing when, or even IF they will be deployed. They know that they need to be prepared to leave at any moment. They need to constantly be ready for deployment. The same is true in the church.
Deployed to what? The military never knows what sort of mission they will be sent out on. The church, however, has a mission that was given to us nearly 2000 years ago. We call this mission The Great Commission. In it Jesus instructs us to “go make disciples of all nations.” This is our mission. This is what we are being deployed to.
Are you ready for deployment? For a military person this question is basically asking, are you prepared to carry out the mission you are being assigned? For the church the question is the same. We know the mission so the question is, are you ready to carry it out? So, ask yourself “Am I ready to go and make disciples?”
Why does it matter? When Jesus said, “Go make disciples” it could be more accurately translated, “As you go…” In other words as you go about your daily life. As you go to the grocery store. As you go to get gas. As you go out to eat. This is why it is important that you always be prepared for the mission, because the mission happens every day. You never know when an opportunity will arise to share the gospel or to show the love of Jesus. For this reason, you must always be prepared.
How do you prepare? Soldiers prepare for deployment by training. The same is true for the church. Training for deployment means studying your Bible. Praying. Listening to the voice of the God and obeying. Jesus said that His sheep recognize His voice. This only happens when we talk with Him often and listen to His voice. We also have to be open to the opportunities. Pray to ask God to open your eyes to see the opportunities. Our hearts need to be ready for the mission too. Pray and ask God to soften your heart for the lost.
Bottom line: There are many ways that we can prepare for the mission. My goal, at this time, is not to share all of them. Rather I want to encourage and inspire you to always be ready for deployment. Understand that your never done training for deployment. This is a daily thing that never ends. BUT, the reward is more than worth the work.Matt Norman
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