A One Man Mission

Is it possible to be on mission alone?

This was the question we posed and wrestled with during our Tuesday night study session of “Find Your People.”

You may be a one person band trying to follow God as best you can. I’ve been there, and in some ways, am there now trying to lead our church community. As always we need to look to Christ for these answers. If we are to model, follow, how He lived then let’s do so.

Individual Purpose

Every one of us has an individual mission. Something tugs at your heart and you respond, “I want to make a difference in this area.” Your first steps will generally be alone, but I bet you’ll also be looking at the experience of others to learn. Maybe a first step is to join an organization that is already about that mission, or maybe you’ll begin by sending support to them.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Ephesians 2:10

Paul explains that we are each purposely created to do good works that God has prepared us to do beforehand. You have a God given purpose. You have work to do, even alone, no matter your situation. The great thing about this verse is that it says this purpose is prepared beforehand. Elsewhere we read about how God has gifted each one of us in specific ways, again proving He has prepared us for the work He has for us to accomplish. This includes you, no matter what your situation is in life. Homebound, in prison, mentally ill, no matter, you can still fulfill God’s purpose for your life, and you have a specific mission to be about.

BUT, you are not meant to be alone. In fact, in many Scriptures we see where we are told how great it is to have friends, others, teammates, to help us in our life journey. This includes having a team to be on mission with.

Jesus on Mission

Did Jesus have an individual mission?

And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read. 17 And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written,

18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
    because he has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives
    and recovering of sight to the blind,
    to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

20 And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. 21 And he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”

Luke 4:16-21

Here we read Jesus’s own mission. He had an individual mission He was about. And if we follow Him throughout the Gospels, we find this is exactly the mission He completed.

However, after Jesus’s baptism by John and His time being tempted by Satan in the desert, (tempted to shortcut the mission), Jesus began His mission by choosing teammates. That’s right, the Son of God, deity in the flesh, accomplished His mission by gathering others to help Him.

Teammates

Jesus began His mission, His three years of mission activity, by choosing the least likely persons to help Him accomplish His goal of saving us from slavery to sin. He didn’t do it alone, He recruited a team. After some “grooming” of this team, we see where He sends them out, on mission, without Him with them, to prepare the “fields” for His work, (Luke 9:1-6).

Along the way, Jesus gains more followers. Some of these were more than just fans, they were true followers. He chose from them, seventy two to send out on mission again, (Luke 10:1-23). In this instance we see Him specify they are to go, “two by two.” He sent them in teams of two to announce His coming, “into every town and place where he himself was about to go.” They were the teams of ground tillers and seed planters for Him to come through later reaping the harvest. But He actually gives them instructions to, “pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” In other words, more workers, more teammates, to help accomplish the mission He was given.

A Lone Ranger

Here’s the bottom line. We all have a mission, and we should all be about recruiting others to join us in this mission. Sure, it may start with a personal mission or calling, and you may be able to do some good work alone. But with a team, with others backing you on the same goal, you can do so much more. A football team isn’t a winning team with a quarterback alone. He needs blockers, defenders, receivers, even a coaching staff, to help him accomplish the goal of winning. Jesus, the Son of God, recruited a team of players to help Him accomplish His mission. If He needed a team, so do you and I.

What’s your plan? If you don’t know, maybe I can offer some tips:

  1. Let others know about your mission. What is your passion? What breaks your heart?
  2. Be intentionally on the look out for others that share your passion, desire to do something.
  3. Make friends, but more importantly, find teammates.
  4. Jump start by finding organizations that are about the mission you are called to and jump in.
  5. Pray, not last but first. As the Lord says, “Pray for laborers.”

Heed the command of the Lord for the seventy two, take others with you! Recruit someone else to go alone with you on your mission. It is not safe, nor good, to go it alone. You need others and they need you!

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