Radically on mission

FROM THE NATIONAL DIRECTOR: Are we committed to sharing God’s good news?


This is the final column that I will write as national director. Thinking about what to write, I keep coming back to what has been my passion in ministry for 35 years and what I believe must be the fundamental, passionate purpose of every USMB church and believer: We must be radically on mission for Jesus.

Churches cannot simply be social clubs, focusing on themselves. Churches must experience a sense of urgency for reaching those who don’t yet know Jesus. Time is of the essence. We must, right now, be radically on mission for Jesus.

Churches that consistently, frequently and fervently pray for God to use them in a powerful way for making new, committed followers of Jesus—and seeking to replicate that again and again and again—will unswervingly find themselves on fire for Jesus. If we are truly committed to Jesus and his kingdom work, we will be on our knees. We’ll relish the challenges he brings to us.

We’ll throw ourselves into following where God’s going. We’ll give up our own designs and plans and listen to his voice—calling us to action. We’ll find ourselves doing things that are only possible through the power of God. We’ll be radically on mission for Jesus. The people of the U.S. Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches: radically on fire for Jesus. How I pray for that!

The gospel of Jesus Christ is still good news. The powerful things that we believers know about having a deep relationship with the risen Jesus is possible for those who are yet to believe. But without someone to tell them, they will perish. Without churches that are striving to teach people how to reach others, there will be multitudes of people who end up facing an eternity apart from God.

Telling someone who is lost (remember, Jesus called them “lost”) how God has changed me and has adopted me as his son, has forgiven my sin and restored my relationship with him because Jesus took my place on the cross, atoning for my sins—that is my mission. That is your mission. That is the church’s mission. Then, helping to disciple these new believers into becoming deeply committed followers of Jesus is also a huge part of our mission.

Dare we ask for a revival among our MB family? Dare we ask God for more? Dare we seek him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength? Dare we stop squabbling among ourselves so that we can do the real work he is calling us to? Dare we stop wasting time, being so slow to act? Dare we desire to live faithfully different—being salt and light in a world that has largely rejected the light of Jesus? Dare we understand that living radically for Jesus might literally be worth being persecuted for? Dying for? Living for?

I think about the great scene depicted in Revelation 7 of “a vast crowd, too great to count, from every nation and tribe and people and language, standing in front of the throne and before the Lamb.” When I think about this, I also think about those whom I know right now who will not be there. Does this matter enough to me? Do I care enough to strive to help change that outcome? If not, am I truly and radically on mission for Jesus?


  1. Thank you, Don, for your heartfelt thoughts. You are an example for us all.

    The last five words I always hear at the end of our Sunday morning gatherings are, “Go and be the church!”

    Thank you for your ministry as USMB National Director. Even though you will no longer be wearing the national director hat, I know you will continue to “go and be the church!”


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