Matthew sat among a group of disciples eagerly listening to his story of Jesus.
“Jesus said, ‘all authority on heaven and earth has been given to me, therefore as you go make disciples, baptising them and teaching them all I have taught you…’”
“In other words”, continued Matthew, “life is about sharing the Gospel; as you go about your business, make disciples.”
“That almost sounds too simple” said one of the group.
“Quite right” said Matthew, that’s exactly what we thought. And so we invented ‘mission’. Matthew now had a glint in his eye.
“Mission” replied the questioner, “what does that mean?”
“Precisely,” said Matthew, “what does it mean? It means everything and nothing at the same time. It means whatever you want it to mean.”
“Mission means; courses and books, research and consultancy, workshops, webinars, conferences and lectures.”
“Mission means; experts and advisors, specialists and coaches. It means having little time to talk to anyone that isn’t a Christian because you’re too busy teaching Christians about mission.”
“But doesn’t the Church need to know that Jesus wanted them to get on with life, sharing the Gospel as they went? Wouldn’t it make things much simpler?”
Matthew looked aghast. “Of course the Church doesn’t need to know that Jesus left them a clear and simple task”, he shrieked. “That would ruin everything. Imagine how quickly they’d stop investing in our programmes and conferences. The whole mission industry would implode!”
For the real text: Matthew 28.16-20