The Real Mission of the Church
Pastor Priji & Pastor Benny have this conversation on the importance of carrying what we experience inside the church, to the world around us. Also, having a conversation on how to help leaders to take their church to the next level.
Pastor Priji: Welcome Pastor Benny to this podcast. Thank you for agreeing to doing this.
I know, you were here on a work trip and it’s a hectic time. But, thank you for taking time in doing this podcast along with us.
Pastor Benny: Thank you Pastor Priji for the honour and thank you for the invite. I think the conversation will be mutually fruitful.
Pastor Priji: Absolutely! I love your passion for missions, evangelisms, church planting, church growth and I’ve seen how you’re out there. You’ve had a background of being in the Indian army and now you are serving the Lord. I have seen that you are an inspiration to me, my family and others that are listening to us.
What is your perspective on the Church being the answer to the lack of God’s awareness in a city or in a nation.
The Bible says we are the salt of this earth, and the light of this world. As a church, we take it very lightly and think a Pastor from the U.S would come and do evangelistic crusades and that’s how the people would get saved. Somehow the church often takes a backseat. What is your perspective on this? How can the church be the salt and the light in this city?
How can we be in the forefront of evangelising, reaching the lost, teaching and preaching the Word of God to the people?
Pastor Benny: I think it’s a great question. I believe it’s a very vast topic. I’m going to share based on what the Lord is putting on my heart.
Pastor Priji: Definitely, sure Pastor!
Pastor Benny: It all starts from the day you accept the Lord and receive His love in your life. There are different people who different way of accepting the love of Jesus in their life. Some people maybe sick and may be healed, some of the, maybe are planning to commit suicide and they have an encounter with Jesus. Some of them would be struggling with addictions, depressions or oppressions, etc.
Everybody has a different encounter with God, that becomes a threshold of where they start from.
Take the life of Paul who was erstwhile Saul, he (Paul) had an encounter withJesus at the gate of Damascus. What changed his life was he never imagined ‘that moment’. You have different kinds of people coming over there, from that point we needed Jesus in our lives to a place where we so called enveloped in an environment called ‘fellowship’. The platform we have the fellowship, is known as the ‘Church’, that becomes an identity for us.
We call ourselves believers and we start growing being called salt and light, very good!
But, it was Jesus himself who said, what is the use of the salt if it loses it’s the very fact I created it to be salt?.
Pastor Priji: Right.
Pastor Benny: What is the use of light if it does not shed light?
These are the basic things the church, the leader, the pastor, the bishop or a deacon need to inculcate on a regular basis not the day when the Believer is taking baptism.
You mentioned the word mission.
Pastor Priji: (agreeing tone)
Pastor Benny: What exactly is the verbatim of mission. I was going through the word some days back, the real meaning is to accomplish a task given to the person. Maybe, in the place where he is or outside of His territory.
My attention went to the word territory. How believers or anybody are so confined to our ‘territory’ and the Pastor always has a message for ‘his church’?
What about me as a Pastor speaking to somebody in the church has message not for you but for somebody in your office struggling with depression.
Pastor Priji: Yeah, Come now! (agrees).
That’s the real mission.
Pastor Benny: The Pastor needs to preach in a mission inside the believer who is sitting in the church. We don’t want mission that is happening in somebody else’s church, we don’t want a crusade that is happening in another country. Well, the crusade lies on the inside of you. The mission lies on the inside of you. The part where we fail is the execution.
Pastor Priji: True
Pastor Benny: The real execution is on a Monday morning, in the Middle East on a Saturday morning. Depending on which part of the country you are.
The church is the platform where we need to speak two things:
- The Great Commission
- The Great Commandment
This is one thing I have seen and heard very seldom being preached, the great commission and the great commandment.
Pastor Priji: Yeah
Pastor Benny: We say that I know of the Great Commandment, love one another as I have loved you.
Well, if I have love, I would not have hesitated speaking of the love of Jesus to anybody in the world madly.
That is why, in Revelation it says, “you have forgotten your first love.”
Pastor Priji: Yeah, right.
Pastor Benny: First love is not the responsibility of the Pastor to be reminding the church. First love is individual based.
Let me put it this way, the great commandment and the great commission revolves around each other.
Pastor Priji: True, it’s because of each other.
Pastor Benny: I cannot complete the great commission in Matthew 28 without knowing the great commandment, right?
I want to preach but I don’t want to love.
In a nutshell, it just not church based, it is individual based, I cannot expect my Pastor to accomplish a mission in my life, I cannot accept my leader to accomplish a mission in my life. What God has given me is ‘my mission’. If He healed me, that becomes my mission. If He saved me from drugs, it becomes my mission, if He told me in my heart when I was about to abort my child, that becomes my mission, to save somebody who is about to abort their child, to save somebody who is into drugs, to save somebody who is in sickness, that becomes my mission.
Pastor Priji: I agree, that was so insightful Pastor Benny. so often, we are all about ourselves, how can the sermon in the church help them? Or how can it bring a financial breakthrough in my home? How, how can I get a better job or get promoted?
That’s some of the reasons why come to church.
The reason why we have church, we need to evolve and remember that church exists for its non members and not for it’s members. When we come together week after week, we are motivated by love and the commandment Jesus gave to go and preach the gospel to the ends of the earth, I think our goals will shift.
Pastor Priji: How we can break out of this four wall mentality? When can we think beyond our church and our city and become mission minded like the first century church, like Apostle Paul was not limited to one place. History tells us they travelled the world with their limitation of finances with the message.
What does the Bible command in wanting to move out of our comfort zones and going into territories and places we are not comfortable?
Pastor Benny: That’s another great question you asked, which is so real in today’s world what churches are going through The other day I was meditating on the Word of God, I was learning about, Peter stepping out of the boat and walking on the water. We talk so much about Peter walking on the water and was suddenly about to drown, in a way, here preachers preach, when you are about to drown God is going to come and lift you up. Agree. But, one thing the Holy Spirit put in my heart was we are talking about him walking on the water. But, we are not talking about him stepping out of his boat.
Pastor Benny: If he hadn’t stepped out of his boat, he would never walk on water. The church has now become the boat. That’s the Amen word for me. I was thinking, had been confining myself to gift or the calling or the revelations God has given in my life and I sit with it, and I keep enjoying the blessings in our life, we are just sitting in the boat. Listening to the same song and series on a Sunday morning, giving each other a holy kiss an walking with the lunch in and around the people whom we say again and again is just known as sitting on the boat.
How do we strategise ourselves saying, am I making an impact?
Pastor Benny: The Acts of the Apostles, speaks of ‘the Acts’ the disciples did. If the church or people want to do more for God, if you want to do what the apostles did, do what they did!
Peter did not confine himself to Acts 2, he received it and started preaching. If you have received it you are never going to hold yourself. If something is holding you, that means there is something that has not gone in the receiving realm.
We don’t want to reach because are so confined we are so comfortable known to exactly what preachers want to say. But, there are people in the world struggling, wanting that one call, one message, prayer or verse.
What God has put in our lives, He doesn’t want to confine it to somewhere, it starts with us ‘me’.
God has called us individually for the Kingdom of God.
Pastor Priji: If I may ask you, you have come from a church where missions is celebrated and there is constant emphasis on missions. What are some of the practical ways in which there is strategic involvement in the mission field from the church. Where the church is not about the church but also about blessing the body of Christ? Give us some examples so that young pastors, leaders can take inspiration and do the same.
Pastor Benny: There are two answers to this. From my experience, we help them to develop a plan and a model for themselves. God is a very disciplined person. You need to have different leadership structures and different ways of evangelism. Evangelising church is a growing church and a praying individual is an evangelising individual, because Jesus prayed as much as He was evangelising.
Pastor Benny: One of the things I ask men and women of God, is how deep is the relationship of prayer in your church? How deep are they rooted in praying for the people that are there on the field?
Pastor Priji: That will tell us how serious they are with their evangelism.
Pastor Benny: Exactly, because, if your root is strong the fruit is strong. The root is in the church and the fruit is in the field. What we see on the outside is people are added. Look at Acts 2,3,4 when the window of Acts 2 opened it blew an experience which was never seen or felt. All that the Roman empire had seen was Jesus coming back to life, but the execution of the power came in Acts 2.
That’s what is happening, the church today, are so confined in their on lifestyles and callings they forget, why have I been called?
Am I supposed be in the field or am I supposed to be confined in my church? That was the first part of the answer. The second part to the question, we focus on lot on letting people grow in different pockets, corridors or theaters.
When I say that, some people are called to pray, some have the ability to go to minister to people in addictions or in juvenile homes or in depression or cancer. That’s a field!
Jesus never restricted Himself to preaching, he did everything, be it, raising the dead or be it sitting in John 4 at the well.
We encourage people to seek and seek God’s call on their life. We all have been given our own measure of faith. How you execute is your one on one with your mentor. That’s why we say your spiritual relationship with your spiritual fathers or mentors is so deep and important where you can work where God can use your calling to the highest level.
Pastor Priji: True
Pastor Benny: People fail because they want to reach the highest level on the first day. It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon. It’s not going to be an easy walk and that’s the reason why most of the young people fail in the church. Why should I evangelise when I know what I am doing? That’s when I would say, what I have received I am indebted to give or serve.
That’s what our Lord did, He believed in serving because it comes with a cost.
Serving will put down in a level where nobody will recognise you, that itself is a mission. And the church, leader or pastor needs to understand everybody has been given a different level of faith, that only comes when people realise the power of prayer individually. Lord, use me for your glory.
Last thing to your question, when people start taking the responsibility for themselves they will start to understand their call, giftings and how can I serve much more for the Kingdom of God.
Pastor Priji: Thank you so much Pastor Benny. That almost answers all the questions I had in my mind on this. Some of the practical questions church often ask is, I have a church excited for missions, but not the right resources or invitations or right doors. How would you encourage them to keep persisting, what would your advise be to those people?
Pastor Benny: That’s a very promising question who are new ministries, trying to grow up. One thing I’ll say is, If God has called you He is going to take care of you. Second thing, partnering and networking is very, very important. You need to partner with people who have grown. Have Godly drive networks/ affiliations.
Pastor Priji: When God sends, He also spends!
I understand by what you are saying, you should make the right kind of networks and partnerships. Your associations can slow you or be a catapulting force to our life. Being intentional to honour the people God has placed in your life.
Pastor Priji: I believe we should not have anything less than nations in our heart because the Bible says Psalm 2:8 – Only ask, and I will give you the nations as your inheritance.
Jesus when He is returning is coming for. glorious church and that’s my dream and that’s your dream too.
Would you speak a prophetic word or pray:
Father we thank you for your Presence during our conversation, I pray for the people who are listening from any part of the world, wherever they are let them know that Jesus died for their sins. If you are struggling with depression I want to tell you Jesus died on the cross so that your depression can dead forever. I pray for people struggling with cancer, you have mission in their life you are not done in their life, Lord, i want to pray for people struggling with AIDS, I pray that the disease will not take over their life,You died on the cross so that they can be healed and have eternal life. as we pray for the men and women of God serving you Father, we pray this conversation is going to bring in a new revival in their bones, a new seed of faith. We pray for men and women who are serving and are depressing we thank you He who has called is faithful, He is going to take you to the end, He is going to take you to a good finish. Father, agree and pray you do your work, in Jesus name, Amen!
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