by Ed Stetzer
The first observation is that we are sent, as found in John, chapter 20. Whenever Jesus gives us a commission, He gives some sort of promise to accompany it–a promise of His peace, His presence, or of the power of the Holy Spirit. And Jesus said to them, “Peace to you, just as the Father has sent me so also I send you.” And that’s number one in our outline–that we are sent. Jesus announced Himself as being sent more than 40 times in the Gospel of John. We are identifying with Jesus by living as sent ones, or by being missional.
We have come to an unfortunate conclusion that only certain people are sent, that the only ones who are really sent are those who are missionaries. As a matter of fact we have created in our churches an unbiblical and unhelpful three-tiered level of Christianity. In three-tiered Christianity, first there are the lay people–not on the staff of a church. There’s another level, we describe as “called to the ministry.” Many pastors give testimony and say, “I was called to the ministry when I was 17,” or “I was called to the ministry when I was 24.”