Over the last year, Apex Community Church, a home for me since my freshman college days, has been in a season of significant transition. From the top down there isn’t a single thing that hasn’t been affected in the course of the last twelve months (except for the legendary orange carpet, but that is for another blog.) The future landscape of Apex and its ministries have been discussed at length and continue to be fervently prayed over.
This weekend they begin the rollout of the new mission and vision statements and the “strategic goals” that have come about. As I watched the “Mission/Vision Promo” tonight and looked at the new Mission Statement that was printed out, my mind kept wandering to one word which has had great significance in my life: commission.
According to Webster’s, a commission is: a formal written warrant [document] granting the power to perform various acts or duties. Probably the most well-known commission is found in Matthew 28. Jesus has died, risen back to life, and is having a heart to heart with His closest of followers.
“Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (16-20 ESV)
A few years ago as I pondered the word commission and this passage in specific, I was struck by a new thought that revolutionized me. This commission of Jesus to His disciples (and in turn, each of us) is really a co-mission (misspelling intentional.) The plans and work that God has given to each of us are not something we enact alone. The missions given to us are really co-missions because they work only in tandem with the Spirit. Let me re-read verse 20, Christ said, “I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Though there may be times in life when we feel we are on lone islands, there is a mission partner with us, living inside us. When the task ahead feels as overwhelming and ridiculous as counting grains of sand, as Christians, we can celebrate because God is the God of the overwhelming and the ridiculous.
In most scripture memorization of “The Great Commission” we lose verse 18, “And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me…” Jesus is the very foundation of all we do. We have the power to go, make, baptize, and teach only because Jesus has authority in heaven and on earth. Sure we can sing, “All the world for Jesus! Let each one pray and give, until remotest nations shall look to Him and live” but actually doing it, actually reaching all the world for Jesus? Wow, what a mission.
But we do it as a co-mission with Him who has all authority. We do it as a co-mission with the Spirit who gives power to accomplish the Father’s Will. We do it as a co-mission with fellow believers who come alongside and carry the banner when our strength is failing. Whatever the future looks like for Apex, for you, or for me: we can move forward with bold confidence because we do it as co-missioners.