Decrease Your Vision: Mission is Where You Are

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Looking at the life of Jesus, one thing I always notice is how little information we actually get about his early life. Other than one story from his childhood, we are left with virtually no information about him until he is about 30 years old. Think about it: Until he is 30 years old, Jesus has no disciples, no crowds drawing to hear him, and was most likely not asked by anyone to perform miracles. He was simply Jesus of Nazareth, son of a carpenter and some woman named Mary.

Even when he begins his ministry, he kept it fairly small. There were, at times, large crowds gathered around him, but most of the time they were only there to see what Jesus could do for them. When he didn’t do what they liked, they left. His group of followers, however, looked much different than what we might expect. He kept 70 around, 12 close, and 3 closer. There is a reason for this.

Since we were children, our parents, teachers, coaches and even youth leaders taught us to dream as big as we possibly could. Posters with things written on them such as, “Dream Big,” and “Reach for the Stars,” filled almost every room in the school I attended. The purpose of this is to get the students to strive to be the very best that they can be, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. However, while most of us dream of becoming the next star athlete, entrepreneur, or the person who finally finds a cure for cancer, we haven’t all been called by God to do those things.

The same thing happens in the Christian life. We dream of having the biggest churches, the best worship music, and go on the farthest mission trips. God simply doesn’t call each of us to that. What He calls most of us to is living missionally with what we have where we have it.

What He calls most of us to is living missionally with what we have where we have it.

I’m not writing this to tell you stop dreaming big. I’m telling you that sometimes we can make a bigger impact when our vision is smaller.

I am constantly telling my students that “Sending Jesus was always God’s plan A.” What I mean by that is, God was not in heaven wondering what to do next when sin came into the world. His plan was always to redeem mankind back to himself through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Since then, God has used those who have entered into His family to spread the gospel to those around us, near and far. We do that by missional living.

The Great Commission found in Matthew 28:19-20 says, “Go therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” What most of us think of when we hear that is international missions. While some of us might be called to that, most of us are called to missional living right where we are. The body of Christ can make a much bigger impact if we each break down our missional goals into smaller sections. Reach the neighbor, then the neighborhood.

Looking back at the size of Jesus’ ministry, I believe he kept it fairly small for us to realize that we can only do so much.

In order to make any sort of impact on the world, we all have to start somewhere. Start where you are!

Zechariah 4:10 “Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin.”

In order to make any sort of impact on the world, we all have to start somewhere. Start where you are!

Zach Simpson

Zach is the Youth Pastor at Abundant Life Tabernacle in Mansfield, Ohio. He is passionate about equipping students to be full-devoted followers of Jesus and models missional living is in his personal life.

Contact Zach.

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