Rethinking Missions

I am reading through a book called Velvet Elvis: Repainting the Christian Faith by Rob Bell. This has really been causing me to stop and think about many different issues that Rob raises in the book. One thing that he said in regard to missions really struck me:

“So the issue (of missions) isn’t so much taking Jesus to people who don’t have Him, but going to a place and pointing out to the people there the creative, life-giving God who is already present in our midst.” – Rob Bell in Velvit Elvis

This statement was almost shocking. So often growing up in church, you would hear the classic missionary story of these people called by God to bring Him to a heathen land that had never heard His name. This statement flies in the face of that mindset, but after reflecting on it, I think that Rob is onto something. When we have the standard missions mindset of the gospel being ours to bring, we put the focus entirely on us and put us in a place where we are almost above those to whom we are seeking to impact. The midset pictured in this statement totally refocuses missions. It brings it to our job as a missionary sharing the gospel to people becomes pointing out God as the source of all beauty and order that the psalmist said that the heavens were declaring the greatness of. God is the source of all order and beauty and the reason the universe fits together. We are simply to be willing to point to the order and beauty in order to show people how to have a realationship with the Creator of all that beauty and order. When we are just pointing out the God that is there, it takes so much of the pressure off of us to explain this incomprehensible God to others. What a great privelege we have to look for opportunities to introduce people to our awesome and loving God!