So often we christians tend to make “having a personal relationship with Jesus” the most important thing in the world. This is a good. But, I wonder. Have we become so in love with knowing Jesus personally that we forget that our primary identity as Chrsit-followers is that of being “sent out?”
I have to wonder. What do we consider our primary identity as human beings? Do we see ourselves first our job role? When someone asks, “what do you do?” Do you first think, “I am an accountant” or “I am a full-time parent” or “I work at McDonalds” or whatever you “do for a living.”
Perhaps our primary identity should be our role in our community of sent people. What if our answer was more like “I am a follower of Jesus, sent to bring, model and live the message of his kingdom with my faith community which is a message of good news to all people, regardless of who or what they are, look like or do.”
Now, perhaps you wouldn’t say those exact words to someone. But, what if we just started out with this as our perspective each morning?
A thought from Darrell Guder…
Jesus chose these twelve men as disciples with the express purpose that they should become “sent ones”… as his disciples, they were “to be with him,” to learn from Him all that they would need to be his messengers and witnesses. But they were not to stay with him, not to reduce their vocation as his “called out people” to their internal life and all that they would do as a gathering community.
Rather, they were “to be sent out to proclaim the message, and to have authority to cast out demons.” Their gathered life was always to lead into their scattered life, as the witnessing church, evangelizing as they were evangelized…One shall not divide dicsipleship from apostolate, gathering to sending, community with Christ from witnessing for Christ….
– From The Continuing Conversion of the Church, Page 206.