What is Orthodox Mission? Maybe you have a desire to witness your beliefs to others but you don’t know where to start. Maybe you are too shy or nervous. Maybe you have heard too often that you should witness with your actions more than with your words. While witnessing with actions is commendable and encouraged, it does not stop there.
As faithful Orthodox Christians, we must witness the Trinitarian God to the non-believer. This requires within the church walls and going beyond the church walls. The purpose that we are all called to do is to proclaim the gospel to all people.
Mission encourages unreached and unchurched people to freely enter into the church and willingly begin their journey of salvation in the life of the Holy Trinity. This mission imitates Christ’s mission when He was born, lived, preached, died, and resurrected to give us Salvation. He continued to send the Holy Spirit to work in the church to reach all His children.
This work that began must never stop. We must continue it in our churches and in our communities.
Foundation of Orthodox Mission is Love
The foundation of any Orthodox Mission is God’s love penetrating through its members to all the world. John 3:16-17 shows us God’s mission to save the world through Love.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
The church is called to imitate the ultimate missionary in Christ. That all through our love will be saved.
Love Leads to Obedience
Christ says, “If you love me, keep my commandments.” (John 14:15)
The last commandment Christ gave his disciples was the Great Commission of “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations…” (Matthew 28:19).
We as an Orthodox Church must GO! If I love Christ, then I must keep this commandment and GO! This is Orthodox Missions – Love and Obedience by keeping His commandments.
As we learn from St. Paul in 1 Corinthians 9:16, “woe to me if I do not preach the gospel of God.”
If we are in union with God through the sacraments, then a natural action will be to go and help people who are not in union with God. To love them with the love that is penetrating through us.
Woe to us if we do not Go.
Christ constantly searched for the lost sheep. He constantly looked to help and heal those in need. We must, just as Christ, have a burning desire to search and save the lost, the broken, the unbeliever.
If we don’t go, who will?
Whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things! Romans 10:13-15
A Church with the true Orthodox faith must be the leader in missions and evangelism because it is holding the treasures that all need to receive salvation.
A Call to Action
Any church without a mission is a contradiction within itself. Yes, the mission inside the church walls are critical, but the church should not neglect or forget those outside the church walls.
Christ Himself showed us this way of life. The church without missionary activity will always be limping along and missing one of the main purposes on why it exists.
While it is great for us to have fellowship in our churches. We don’t just want to be a social group or club, but a living breathing zealous church that is continuing the work of our Lord Jesus Christ and His apostles.
This is a call to all Orthodox Churches worldwide.
Below are a few ways to do this practically:
- All Orthodox Churches are called to put in mission’s curriculums for Sunday School of all ages.
- Prepare future missionaries by creating regular mission activities for all ages from Sunday School and up to fulfill the Great Commission.
- There should be mission activities implemented in your neighborhoods, in your cities, and abroad.
- There should be programs that prepare and train short-term and long-term missionaries.
- Create a loving, welcoming environment through development or improvement of our hospitality ministries.
Every Orthodox Church must have this vision.
Woe to us if we do not Go.
If we do GO, imagine the impact on our church, our families, our communities, and the impact on the entire world.
The time to act is now. Don’t wait for someone else to do it. Don’t complain about leadership. You have the vision. You may have gone on mission trips. You have a burning desire for non-believers to return. Then GO!
Pray, Prepare, and Go and Proclaim!
Mission Assignment: Choose an idea from the Call to Action or your own idea and start it now. GO!
Tags: commandments, Follow Christ, great commission, Love, Missionary, obedience, Orthodox Mission