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  • James Pate

How do we do mission?

Dear friends


How do we do mission better?


It’s possible that it’s time for you to take on a new project, but I don’t want to press that one for now. Instead, here’s today’s question: how do we do mission better where we are?


Well, it must start with the way we behave. To be clear, I am NOT saying that we need to behave well before God will love us. I AM saying that our behaviour affects our impact. If we are the light of the world, that light needs to shine. I’m not asking you to be perfect; I’m asking you to switch a few lights on.


There’s a great piece about love in the Bible. It says: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” (1 Corinthians 13, NIV.)  This is what the Apostle Paul called ‘the greatest way of all.’


This, I suggest, is the foundation of mission. This is how we shine the bright light. This is how we expose the darkness. I love this gem from the Apostle Paul:  “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” (Romans 12, NIV)


So today, try a little patience. Or a little kindness. Or some other aspect of love. And don’t forget to be patient and kind to yourself. Please. You are not asked to love others more than you love yourself. Really. I think that learning to love yourself may not be the greatest love of all, but it may be the foundation from which we love others. Maybe you could try to honour yourself in the way Jesus would honour you. If that last sentence didn’t strike you, please read it again.


We follow the one who was not known for shouting out in the streets. We follow the one who did amazing things for people, never making a fuss about it. So let’s not aim for fame or praise. Let’s turn a few lights on.


In his light and love



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