Today, I want to talk to you about how the Orthodox Church has a role to do Mission Everywhere to Everyone. Before we get into that, I want to address a few points.
First, the Orthodox Church should always remain above Ethnicity and Culture. She rejects division. Anyone from any culture can come and worship and feel like they have a Father (God), Mother (Church), and Brothers and Sisters. Christ is neither Jew nor Greek. We are One.
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all ONE in Christ Jesus.
Culture can be celebrated as a way to learn about each other, not a way of dividing. We never want to make any group in the church feel rejected. It is beautiful that you love your culture you have grown with, but it doesn’t mean the church should preserve the culture.
The church is responsible for preserving the Faith and celebrating all cultures.
I do believe all cultures can live in one body, but it will take all members to make this effort. So, no one is kicking anyone out of the church.
All members need to be served, but all members should serve all members. Where rich and poor can worship together.
Where Zealot and Publican can be disciples together. Matthew was a Publican (Tax Collector) who wanted to work with Roman Government and Simon was a Zealot who was against Roman rule. They both managed to be one of the 12 disciples working together, eating together, living together, and worshipping together.
Politics, Culture, Race, and separate types of groups have no place in the Church Mission. Christ brought all together. He ate with the sinner and visited the poor. He was with fishermen and tax collectors. He adored children.
We are responsible as a church of mission to bring all people, all races, all cultures from the community together and to search out how to serve them spiritually (for them to attain the Kingdom) and socially (for them to survive and be blessed on the earth).
So, let us preserve our Orthodox Faith and celebrate all cultures so we can reach our goal of Mission Everywhere to Everyone.
Educate on Orthodox Way of Life
To preserve the Orthodox Faith, we are responsible to educate the church members and the surrounding communities we serve in about “What is Orthodoxy?” Without proper education through events, media, social media, and community service, the people will never make the church their home.
We must as Orthodox Christians learn more about our Church Faith so we can freely open it to the community. Once we are educated, we must open the doors of the church and go out to the people and to educate them. People should be comfortable to enter our church doors and learn. Most people see our church as a strange historical museum with outdated traditions. And maybe something nice to visit during Church Bazaars where we get a tour of the museum and eat some Shawarma. I’m not against bazaars but it can be used for the right purpose.
The Orthodox Church life has to be part of a person’s everyday life. We desire every member to learn and follow all the fasts, feasts, and seeing the beauties and treasures of the faith. At the same time, the church should remain relevant to reach the young generation and not be closed off.
Christ created the Church; He created all mankind. So, the church should have a primary goal of bringing all people to Him and to the Body.
The members in the church should be a primary concern. The church should grow every member to their potential. Every member should breathe God through the church and be part of all their life.
Then let us open the doors of our churches and use our social media channels to educate on the beauty of the Orthodox way of life so that we can reach the goal of doing Mission to Everyone Everywhere.
Mission Everywhere Starts in Front of You
The Church must never forget the Great Commission to reach all people of all nations, especially those in your immediate neighborhoods and communities.
In the past, mission was a word that meant going to pagan countries such as Asia and Africa, but mission is really saving and building souls in all places under the sun. So, one of the main goals of EVERY church is to call and train faithful Christians to be missionaries Everywhere to Everyone.
I feel every church should put a focus on this now before the church becomes irrelevant to the area in which it is located. If you are in Australia, Europe, Asia, Africa, America, Canada, or anywhere, the same mission principles apply.
Mission Everywhere to all in their church and all those right outside the church. Yes, it doesn’t contradict Acts 1:8 to serve in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and all the ends of the earth. That should be the goal of every church.
Even the church in Africa one day should send missionaries to the ends of the earth which is probably back to the Western Countries. That is the beauty of mission – there are no boundaries. Mission Everywhere to Everyone! To Every Person!
But the logical starting point of everyone’s mission is right in front of them. The people you deal with on a daily basis. They should be invited, educated, cared for, and brought into our community of believers.
The church doesn’t belong to us but to Christ. And He wants all His children with Him. The True Mission that we want to see everywhere is the mission of witnessing Love to all. Not just preaching and evangelism, but witnessing the Love of God.
We have to remember the Pentecost, when the church started, that all people and all languages were reached. The church was one, but reaching all. Mission Everywhere. The confusion and division of Babel was now abolished in the Pentecost when all were united to the faith.
It is time now to continue the work of the Holy Spirit in our schools, churches, communities, and workplace. It is time to start right in front of you.
Call to Action
Mission is a task for the entire church not just a few zealous leaders and preachers in the church. So, let us ask ourselves a few questions to see if we are ready.
Are we willing to preserve the Faith and celebrate all cultures in our church? (ex. Set up an event that celebrates the different cultures in your church)
Are we willing to invite someone to one of our church activities or events? (ex. Open up our gyms for sports activities that draw young people to the church. Not just our members)
Are we willing to educate about Orthodoxy through our social media channels?
Are we willing to go and serve our neighborhoods? To the inner cities around us?
Are we willing to invest in sending missionaries abroad for short-term and long-term missions? (This could develop the mission mentality in our members as a training for the mission right in front of you.)
Are we willing to do Missions Everywhere to All?
Even in our church services we pray for the Catechumens which are the new believers. Sometimes we find our churches never having new believers. We are just baptizing babies whose parents are already in the church. This is fantastic, but the church should always take the members in and let them reach out. There should be many people being saved daily.
And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved. Acts 2:47
Let us all begin to do Mission Everywhere to Everyone!
Mission Assignment: Choose an idea from the Call to Action above or another idea you have on your heart to do Mission Everywhere to Everyone! Please share your ideas below.Tags: action, acts1:8, allnations, allpeople, Culture, diversity, Educate, Faith, languages, Mission, Missionary, opendoors, pentecost, socialmedia