In Christ, we have a familial identity. We are not fatherless children seeking hopelessly for our identity in our accomplishments. We have been adopted into a missionary family. We serve a missionary God. Mission becomes part of our identity because our Father is a missionary God and we resemble him as a child of God. The Church is a missionary family, with missionary focus, that does missionary things for the glory of a missionary Father. It is who we are and it is also what we do. Mission is not something we tack on to the list of activities as a Christian. It is both what we are commissioned to do and who we are adopted to be.
Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 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, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:18-20).
The Good Son Jesus was sent by His Father to “seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10). He was sent into a spiritually broken world to announce the Good News of Redemption that is only made possible by the Son’s sacrifice for our sins and the Father’s love for us. We are joint heirs with Jesus (Romans 8:17). As a co-heir with Christ and heirs of God, we are deployed in this family business just as the Father sent the Son on this mission (John 17:14-16, 18; 20:21).
Our identity as a child of God compels us to respond to our Father. Neglecting this distinguishable family trait as a missionary is incomprehensible. The Father has made us joint heirs with Christ and we have inherited eternal hope through our Elder Brother. The Father has given Christ the unregenerate for His inheritance and all nations for His possession, and we are co-heirs with Him. As a family of missionaries, we can share our Brother’s inheritance to every needy orphan.
Acts 29 Boot Camps provide training, inspiration and mutual identity as brothers on mission together to develop churches of missionaries. D.A. Carson, Mark Driscoll and Matt Chandler will join Jeff Vanderstelt and me in San Jose, CA on June 3-4 to focus on our identity as missionaries for the glory of our Father. You still have time to register.