Quick, Clinical, Easy.... NOT
I've been to a number of Urbana Missions Conventions. Well… let's put it this way…8 of them to be exact! I’ve listened to a lot of speakers and lots and lots of expositions. I would have to say that it's been a while since I've heard someone like Oscar.
Oscar Muriu is pastor of Nairobi Chapel in Kenya. And Oscar can bring it! He made a stirring case for incarnational mission in tonight's plenary session which included a strong emphasis on dealing with money and possessions in the pursuit of the global mission of the church. Conference director Jim Tebbe led 16,000 students in a challenge to give $63 each so that a 1.0 million dollar gift can be given from the students at Urbana 2009. Back to Oscar...
“If I were God, I would not have taken so long to get around to the mission of saving the world.”
Oscar’s point was that all the time Jesus was living in humility among people and our dysfunctional ways, he was learning obedience and the ability to relate to our lostness. God’s way was slow. Gracious. Incarnational. Not Quick...Clinical...Easy.
In coming to earth to do the Father’s mission, says Oscar, Jesus walked through 4 doorways Christ followers today must be willing to adapt in our mission strategies:
Door One: From Pride to Humility – Christ did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but gave up his status. We have to set aside our “Christian pride” in order to reach out in authencity.
Door Two: From Power to Powerlessness – Jesus did not assert all the power he had available to him – he entered earth in a family that knew poverty and at points homelessness! Our mission is not driven by power.
Door Three: From Privilege to Poverty – The disciples Jesus sent out in mission were to take nothing with them and even dare to live a life of interdependence with those they were sent to minister to (Mark 10). People don’t need us and all our stuff…they need Jesus and they need us to show him to them.
Door Four: From the Harmony and Beauty of Heaven to the Brokenness and Dysfunction of Earth. Jesus set aside unimaginable glory in the presence of the Father to live in the world our hands have scarred and abused. Christians need to be willing to stay engaged in a broken world and not use our faith as a form of escapism.