Has Mission Become Our Idol?

The church and its leaders desperately need a vision of a life with God and not just for him.

"There is a first-rate commitment to a second-rate mission." That is what Roger, a leader in global church planting, said as he looked at the rock climbers ascending a cliff in the Alps. Many of us called into ministry feel the same way. Rather than giving our lives to climbing a rock, building a business, or amassing a fortune, we are committed to what really matters; a first-rate mission–advancing the Gospel and the Church of Jesus Christ.

But what if we're wrong?

Roger spent decades serving Christ by planting churches on four continents. But after reflecting on his labors for the kingdom of God, his confession surprised many of us. "I've given most of my energy to a second-rate mission as well," he said. "Don't get me wrong. Church planting is important. But someday that mission will end. My first calling is to live with God. That must be my first commitment."

What Roger articulated was a temptation that many of us in ministry face. To put it simply, many church leaders unknowingly replace ...

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