After much time here, I’ve seen a lot here in the city of Puno. The more and more I see here, the more and more I am changed. But also, the more and more I am here, I start to question “the mission” versus “the Mission,” if that makes any sense.
In Utopia, those two words would be the same. But, we’re not in Utopia, so let’s first start by defining the Mission: In chapter 16 of Mark (among other books) we find the Great Commission. That’s the Mission. “And He said to them, Go into all the world, proclaim the gospel to all the creation.” He did not say either, “make them believe.” Because in the next verse it says, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved, but he who does not believe will be condemned.” It’s their choice to believe, God has the power and prevenient grace to work in their hearts (see the last blog for my point of view on that.)
To put that into laymen's terms, I believe we’ve watered it down a bit, to suit ourselves. The mission while I’m here is: 3 churches with 12 members each in full participation. Barrrrfff.
I would love to just end this blog right here. But I should probably explain the barrrrfff part.
Being in the Nazarene church for 20 years, I’ve seen one consistency: numbers. That’s all I’ve seen that the administration of the Nazarene church cares about. Whether that’s true or not, I’m not here to judge, but it’s what I’ve seen. Numbers, numbas, numbas, gimme some attendance!! That’s what I’ve seen constantly, consistently. A big church is a healthy church, right? A big church is a successful church, eh?
But now…to be a part of it, to be affected by it, to be ruled by it…causes me to become a little weary. Jesus never said, “Go and make me some huge churches, because those are obviously better.” “Go and make a large congregation, preaching in my name!” No, no, no he did not say that, and for a reason. But the Nazarene church does (and I could go on forever about how.) So why the contradiction? I believe that people are either right or wrong, so who’s wrong?
Let me say something, a subject so strongly stressed here: I am a failure if I don’t plant 3 churches of 12 members each in the next 16 months. I will be looked upon with great adoration if I succeed those goals. But for those who don’t: “Ohh so sad, their must be some sin in their lives, they have failed.” Forget that!!!
And that’s what I will be doing. I’m forgetting that! I have a complete peace about it. I will be forgetting the numbers. My mission is the Mission. Nothing watered down, but straight from the Bible. I promise to you, all my readers, that I will be working harder than the rest to go and spread the Gospel. But I will not conform to the corrupted goals of humans under any circumstances. If I see 3 people grow in the Word, so be God’s will. I have won, not failed. If I see 300 people grow in a relationship with Him, so be God’s will. I have won, not failed. This is not a cop out, but rather a pledge to complete my original mission in coming down here.
I am not here to push the culture of Northern Peru upon the people here (which is another story in itself), I am not here to give lectures of what position the church has in their doctrine. Rather, to spread the Good News and to have God use me to save people from eternal damnation. I am here to love people into His Kingdom.
That’s what I’m seeing, the negative, within everything I’ve been “taught” so far. I’m planning another blog very soon to share with you guys the positive change I’m seeing in the people with whom I’ve been able to share the Good News.
Until then, do this.