Recorded in his first epistle to the churches in Asia Minor, the Apostle Peter writes, “But you (church) are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light (1 Pet 2:9).”
Who we are:
In the context of this passage, Peter is declaring that (we) the church is a specific and special people, set apart, for God’s own possession. A people who have trusted in Christ (The Living Cornerstone) for salvation and who are being built up as a spiritual house (like living stones) offering spiritual sacrifices and praises to God through Christ. We are a people bound together and united in, and to, the Lord himself. Peter describes a fellowship and community far deeper and more profound than that which society proposes through social clubs or other group commonalities. If you are united to Christ by faith, then you share the joys and responsibilities of the communal calling of loving and serving as Christ loves and serves us. Edmund Clowney said of this passage, “There is a spiritual ‘ethnicity’ to the church of Christ; Christians are blood relatives, joined by the blood of Christ.” What a helpful thought for us to consider, and re-consider, as we recognize our blessed status before God as a people for his own possession.
What we do:
As his people, what we are supposed to do is also revealed in this passage. Peter makes clear that we are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a people for God’s own possession, “that you may proclaim the excellencies (or praises) of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” The “that you” of the passage is pretty important as it reveals the purpose of God’s salvation for his people. Through the sacrifice of Christ, our fellowship with God has been regained, so we now praise and proclaim the excellent glory of the One who has saved us. Anytime we are gathered as the people of God, we proclaim his excellencies to one another and this brings forth praise and worship to God for who he is and for what he has done for us. This also builds up our community in love and maturity.
However, the praise of our lips does not cease when we are scattered from the people of God. Our lips declare forth the praises and excellencies of our God to the nations. God’s mercy and mission have always been set toward the nations and administered by his people (Gen 12:1–3; Ps 67:1–7; Matt 28:18–20). The church bears witness to the praise and glory of God for his great salvation in Christ. The motivation in our evangelistic attempts should stem from a posture of worship. More cleanly stated, evangelism is worship of God. Our praise of God ought to be heard by, and told to, our neighbors, strangers, co-workers, family, and friends who have not yet trusted in him.
In effort to encourage, remind, and equip our members, the CCC Missions Team has composed some practical suggestions and resources meant for us to consider and apply as we grow in worshipping God through our evangelism. This is not an exhaustive list, but rather a simple one meant to nudge us further in developing a culture of evangelism.
Some Practical Encouragement & Resources:
- Ask the Lord to give you a greater affection for him and his name to be praised
- Ask the Lord to increase your desire to proclaim his glories to the nations
- Ask the Lord to increase your boldness to proclaim his glories to the nations
- Ask the Lord to provide opportunities to engage, serve, and witness to the nations
- VOM Global Prayer Guide
- RHP Newsletter (pray for our missions partners)
- Read passages like (Gen 12:1–3; Ps 67:1–7; Isa 55; Matt 28:18–20)
- God invites his people to participate in his mission
- God’s people want God’s favor so that they will be a blessing to the nations
- Ask God to allow these passages to pentarte our hearts and lead us to active obedience and a love for all peoples
- Take a missions class
- You can take a missions class called Perspectives (online: here)
- You can audit a Missions class at SEBTS: here
- Come talk to a member of the Missions Team about books and resources to read
- Podcasts: (If you're a podcast listener, incorporate a missions podcast into your drives or workouts, or whenever you listen to podcasts)
God has sovereignly placed us in neighborhoods, work places, and families to proclaim his glorious grace. May we commit to obeying the command to make disciples.
- Have one neighbor over for dinner in 2021 (we recommend reading The Gospel Comes with a Housekey by Rosaria Butterfield)
- Get to know their stories
- Build trust with them
- Serve them
- Share your story/testimony
- Create a neighborhood chart (This 9Marks article gives a quick explanation of charting your neighborhood through the lens of missions, under the 'A Challenge and A Caution' section. Here's the book they refer to : The Art of Neighboring, which we also recommend).
- Display God’s glory at work (we recommend reading Every Good Endeavor by Tim Keller and Every Square Inch by Bruce Ashford)
- Encourage your Care Groups and Discipleship Groups to be sharing the gospel weekly
- Care Groups create a culture which encourages evangelism and prays for evangelism opportunities each meeting
- Ask each other how evangelism is going (each time you meet)
- Pray together for the lost by name (each time you meet)
- Serve in the opportunities provided by Refugee Hope Partners
- Serve in the opportunities provided by Hearts and Hands for Haiti
- Share with the Missions Team/Pastors/Staff the opportunities God has provided to share the faith or minister
(Contact Blair Robinson or a CCC Missions Team Member if interested in serving in these areas)
Train the next generation to love God and love the nations.
- Teach your children about God and his merciful care for the nations (we recommend Gospel Family by Jonathan Williams).
- Pray for your lost neighbors, family, and friends with your children
- Serve together (church and the community)
- Pray for the children in our congregation to love God and love the nations
- Be intentional to encourage/teach them to love God and the nations