What is your "mission?"
I recently finished reading Dan Bouchelle’s book, We're on a Mission from God. Dan is the Executive Director of Mission Resource Network based in Bedford, Texas.
As Leonard Allen writes in the preface of the book:
In this strongly Bible-based study, Dan Bouchelle challenges, enlightens, and reframes the scope of how we think about God’s mission. We're on a Mission from God enlightens 21st century Christians that God has a mission for them, tells them what that mission is, how to live out that mission and finally implores them to see that the hope of the world rests on their embracing and living out that mission.
I feel a personal and deep connection to this book and its message. First, I can relate to the experiences of the author. Dan Bouchelle is a former preacher of 22 years for the Churches of Christ. For the past decade he has dedicated his life to understanding what God is doing in world and domestic missions. I was a preacher for four different churches in Texas, California, Michigan, and the Virginia suburbs of D.C. for 35 years, and now find myself working in world and domestic missions.
Second, I can relate to the main message of the book: God has a plan for us to be a part of His mission. As modern-day American Christians and American church leaders we are experiencing an enormous struggle to connect to that divine mission. More recently, we even are confused about how to define the mission. How can we fulfill a mission that we do not understand?
Early in his book, Dan boldly gives us a concise view of God’s mission for Christians:
God’s mission is not about getting lost people in the church; it is about getting Christ in lost people.
Like me, you may have spent time lamenting the rapid decline of church attendance in the 21st century church. We're on a Mission from God declares that rather than mourning the decline of church attendance, we must reclaim God’s mission to share and live out that Jesus and His way, truth, and life is for all people. Our role is not to build churches. Jesus declares in Matthew 16:18 that creating the church is HIS role. Our mission is not preserving our churches and their structures, but rather, to commit ourselves to getting our churches back on mission.
Dan’s book is a wake-up-call to see the current reality of our lives as Christians in 21st century America. We're on a Mission from God shows us that from the beginning of time through present day, that when godly people have been on “mission,” lives, families, cultures, and nations have been transformed. God’s eternal mission was given to Abraham and then was passed on to the Israelites. Because of their failure to live out his mission, Jesus came to live out God’s mission of sharing God’s love, mercy, and grace first with his generation. Through his sacrifice, Jesus gave Christians of every generation this same God-given mission. In many regions of our world, God continues to do amazing things as Christians embrace and live out their “mission.”
Dan writes in practical, bold, and compelling language that impacts our thinking and our emotions. We're on a Mission from God informs and instructs American church leaders, but the book’s main purpose is to motivate everyday Christians, like you and me. The book challenges each of us to look inside ourselves and ask, “Do I feel God’s power working in and through me?” This book provides clarity and helps us discover God’s mission, and most importantly, to discover how we can connect to our God-given mission… once and for all.
We're on a Mission from God captures my experience and my struggle as an American Christian. At the same time, it gives me hope and instruction that guides me to reprioritize my efforts and energies. I strongly recommend We're on a Mission from God to any American Christian who wants to be on “mission.”