During this past weekend jnX held a couple of events sharing about their “Sichuan Music Healing” project in the aftermath of the Sichuan earthquake. I was touched that, while many other ministries always aim to get people know about them, Anthony Chan’s prayer is that people really do not see jnX but to just see God’s heart with healing His people in Sichuan. And then, it was toward the end of the event that I learned, to my surprise, that jnX only receives a measley $2,273 in donations every month! How can this be, for a ministry that touches lives all over the world and reconciling people to God through worship?
Having been a core member of jnX in the past, I know that many churches choose not to support jnX financially because they consider jnX as a “mission agency,” which is one reason jnX has not received adequate funding. A few years ago, my mentor and also jnX advisor Abel Lam wrote an article about what mission is (read jnX’s Spring 2004 newsletter here). But after the past weekend’s jnX events, I am inspired to write about something else.
I was thinking about what believers usually associate with when they think about “mission.” The first thing that comes to mind for most evangelicals is probably the so-called Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20. For some, the operative word in that passage is “go.” For others, the operative word in that passage is “make disciples.” However, the biggest problem I have is that many people thinks that “mission” is the responsibility of “missionaries.” When they read Matthew 28:18-20, somehow they read it as “people called missionaries will go and make disciples…” The closest these Christians come in contact with “mission” is the so-called “mission department” of their churches. And these “mission departments” seem to be only doing two things: sending money to missionaries, and asking you to pray for missionaries.
Is that all that we’re required to do, sending money and praying, in order to fulfill our missional responsibilities? Is “mission” something that’s accomplished by a select few who are called “missionaries”?
I’m going to share in the upcoming blog entries about what I see as the minimum set of “missional responsilities” that each Christian should have. Stay tuned!