The Church Has a 'Go and Tell' Mission

The Church Has a 'Go and Tell' Mission

Pastor John from 1988:

From the first coming of Christ to the second coming of Christ the strategy of our mission is incarnation. Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners. He left one place and went to another place. He gave up the glories and comforts of his heavenly home in order to go where the people were and tell them about the Father. And he said, "As the Father has sent me so send I you."

Bethlehem's mission in Minneapolis must never be mainly a come and see mission. It must be a go and tell mission. Suppose that all 1,000 of you had just arrived on the scene in Minneapolis as a team of tent-making missionaries. You know what they are — people who will work at secular jobs to support themselves and their families and to penetrate a given population with the gospel.

And suppose that we all got together and said, Well, here we are, and we have no jobs yet and no place to live and there are 1,000 of us. What should we do to reach this metropolitan area for Christ? I think the answer would be, let's all go out and find jobs. All different kinds of jobs all over the cities. And let's pray and let the Spirit guide us to houses and apartments all over the cities and the surrounding suburbs. Let's not all live together in one apartment complex. And let's not make a Christian industry. But let's live among the nationals and get jobs where they work. In other words let's develop a go and tell model of penetration instead of a come and see model of concentration. Great idea! Terrific strategy!

Well isn't it encouraging that that's just what God has already done. We are a church of 1,000 tent-making witnesses to the gospel of Christ. We don't live or work at church. We live and work among the natives. And that is just where God wants us. That is the first thing Christ aims to do with his witnesses — cause them to go and tell, not just wait for others to come and see.

Excerpted from Christ's Purpose in Evangelism.

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Jonathan Parnell (@jonathanparnell) is a writer and content strategist at Desiring God, and is the lead planter of Cities Church in Minneapolis–Saint Paul, where he lives with his wife, Melissa, and their four children. He is also the co-author of How to Stay Christian in Seminary.