Find Your Mission in the Subversive Kingdom
What happens when we grasp the enormity of this calling and our role within it?
The King’s Mission
A few years ago my kids fell in love with “Bob the Builder.” His chant was catchy and simple: “Can we fix it? Yes, we can.” So we all believed.
We all have a mission—from Bob the Builder to Bob the Barber. Everyone has something that gets them up in the morning or wakes them in the middle of the night. Everybody is living a “purpose-driven life” (in respect to my friend Rick Warren and one of the best-selling books in history). From video games to working with AIDS victims in Ethiopia, to college football or working in the local homeless shelter, people are designed to find purpose—and they do. Some even choose to live for the purpose of nothing! But in reality, that in itself is a purpose. I am saddened by the trivial things that drive life for many people. But I am even more saddened by how easily I myself can get distracted from the mission of God to pursue other, less important purposes.
Two critical questions should follow your initial embrace of kingdom citizenship. The first question is, What is the King’s mission? Now don’t zoom past this first one too quickly. You may think it’s a no-brainer, but if you really want to be a significant part of the King’s mission, you must go beyond knowing the right answer, praying, and giving money to world mission efforts.
The second question is equally important: What is my role in the King’s mission? Again, another no-brainer, it seems. But on second glance, wrong or shallow answers to these questions can get to the heart of our ineptness on the King’s mission.
Often our first and only question is, What can I possibly contribute to the King’s mission? What could be wrong with such a question? Look closely, and you find it is often rooted in the desire to contribute versus a desire to fully embrace the King’s mission with complete abandonment. This conservative approach usually leads to typical Christian decisions to give 10 percent (or less) to your church, help out with the children’s ministry, or maybe even go on an international mission trip every few years. I call it the donation level. You may feel better about yourself, but you have missed the incredible adventure of being on 24/7 mission for the King.
Where should you start to find the answers to my first two questions? Go on a serious journey of prayer and study in order to let God shape your heart and life around his mission. Study Jesus’ work on earth and watch him in action. But also listen to Jesus interpret life through the eyes of his mission for the world.
For example, after his incredible, life-changing meeting with the hated tax collector Zacchaeus, Jesus reviewed his purpose-driven life for everyone to hear. All had been witness to the tangible example of Jesus’ purpose, fulfilled in the least likely of people—Zacchaeus. And that mission, Jesus said, could be summarized this way: “The Son of Man has come to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10). That is the King’s mission. But look for different perspectives from his life as you read Scripture. Journal and pray through how the life of Jesus was shaped. Then let the King shape your heart around what it means to invest your all in his mission, not just whatever you can give.
David and Heidi Baniszewski asked the right questions about the King’s mission and came to some radical conclusions as a result. They moved from Indianapolis to Rock Hill, South Carolina, for David to become principal of a private Christian school. Moving from a big city in the North to a small town in the South, warmer climate and all, seemed like the right thing to do at David and Heidi’s station in life. But what they did next was not a natural, reflex reaction. They bought a rundown house on the most dangerous street in Rock Hill and named it the Dream Center. Paul and Barbara Crosby made a similar move from a beautiful condominium on Lake Wylie to a street near David and Heidi.
They now do ministry together and lead North Rock Hill Church to do the same. From youth, to single parents, to the elderly, all know that the Dream Center is there for them. People on the margins are no longer on the margins—at least on those streets. Everybody in the blocks surrounding the Dream Center hears the life-changing story of Jesus through word and deed.
The right questions about the King’s mission will lead to radical answers.
What is the King’s mission?
What is my role in the King’s mission?
Consider them if you dare.