Tag Archives: mission

Because – Call to Worship for Second Sunday of Easter 2015

Because of the Darkness

We can see the Light.

                   Because of the Doubting

We begin to Believe.

                   Because of the Pain and Suffering

We become Your Hands.

                   Because of the Injustice and Broken Systems

We rise up with Voice.

                   Because of Your Selfless Life and Sacrifice

We can overcome Sin and Death.

                   Because of Who You Are

We know Who We Can Be.

                   Because of What You’ve Done

We can Be Free.

-(C)2015, Nathan Decker, Worship’s Wake

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God is in the Missions

God is in Missions

by Nathan Decker

 

Thank you, God, for this good life and forgive us if we do not love it enough.
– Garrison Keillor

The first time I met Sam Nesmith he handed me a bucket filled with a rough mixture of gravel and Haitian concrete mix.  “Here you go,” he laughed, “It’s good for you!”  By the end of the day we had poured a floor in a class room one bucket at a time.  The mix had slopped up and down my bib overalls so thick that when I took them off they stood up on their own.  Sam’s words were truth.  Mission work is good for us.

There was a time I naively thought that spending thousands of dollars on airfare and supplies to build something in another part of the world was the most efficient way to do things.  Several trips later, I know we are not in the 1800’s mission movement any longer.  Mission work today is less about building schools and churches and more about building relationships and discipleship.

The reality is that we could send the money, hire professionals, and get the job done more efficiently.  Unfortunately this sets up a relationship of dependency.  We send UMVIM teams to create partnerships where each party provides what they can and we work together.  Sure, we’re not professionals – and we may not know the Cambodian way of painting a fence post or the North Carolina way of wiring a house – but we can learn.  More than that, we can learn from our Christian sisters and brothers in other lands how they are experiencing God.  I may have brought a hammer and a saw to give away in Haiti, but I learned a lesson from a little boy about sharing that I’ll never forget.  I may have taught lessons on leadership to pastors in Cambodia, but I’ll never forget the joy and excitement of a growing young church that they shared with me.

Mission trips are not just about reaching out to make disciples in a far off land.  When I go on a mission trip, I’m learning how to be a better disciple, too.  Whether it is when Sam shared a Richard Foster devotional book with me or when we had deep conversation about where God is calling us to go next in the mission – the Spirit is at work.  Even when in a worship service preached in a tongue I couldn’t understand but in a heart I felt moved.

We go on missions to encourage young growing churches.  We go on missions to develop relationships and partnerships.  We go on missions to make and be better disciples.  We go on mission trips because God is in missions.  “Here you go, it’s good for you.”

 

So here’s what I think: The best thing you can do right now is to finish what you started last year and not let those good intentions grow stale. Your heart’s been in the right place all along. You’ve got what it takes to finish it up, so go to it.

 – 2 Corinthians 8:10-11 The Message

Call to Worship Hospitality (Based on Mark 6:7-13)

People who follow Jesus,

Here are your instructions:

Take Nothing

for your journeyand trust in me that you will Give Something.

Wear Simple Sandals

and not the latest and greatest fashion.

Carry with you only what you need for a day.

While the journey will be long, you need to depend on me.

If any place does not welcome you, Don’t Worry about it.

Shake it off.

There are places you need to welcome.

Hospitality is what I am sending you to show.

-©2014 Nathan Decker, Worship’s Wake

God’s Story Prayer

God, you are the great Story-teller:

              You spoke love upon the page of creation and “It was good.”

                   When our calamity and cacophony of sound interrupted,

              You continued rocking in your chair, 

                      kept on patiently telling your yarn.

              Even when we began beating you,

                      choking the life from your lips;

            You continued the tale, “Father, forgive them…”

                   God you are the great Story-teller.

            Write your story upon our hearts.

                   Help us receive Your Story as Our Story.

                   Help us share Your Story for others to join Our Story.

                   God, you are the great Story-teller:

                                Speak Jesus to us, in us, and through us.  Amen.