Re-Jesus Missions Part 1: Has Western Christianity Stolen our Ability to Reflect Jesus’ Way of Missions?
By Jean Johnson
The phrase “ReJesus” was first introduced to me in a book by Michael Frost and Alan Hirsh called ReJesus: A Wild Messiah for a Missional Church.1
“Re” is the prefix to denote doing something again or going back to it such as revisit, rediscover, and reignite. In their book, Frost and Hirsh challenge us to realign our lives, churches, and organizations with the biblical Jesus. From their perspective, Western Christians take their cues more from their culture than from Jesus.
Their book caused me to consider this question:
How close or how far are we from Jesus’ pattern of doing global missions — making disciples of the nations?
Jonathan Bonk’s viewpoint is that we are quite far from Jesus’ and the apostles’ ways of living out the Great Commission:
Material and economic abundance has been a hallmark of the modus operandi of Western missionaries throughout the past two centuries . . . in sharp contrast to their apostolic counterparts of the first century, portrayed by St. Paul as being “on display at the end of the procession, like men condemned to die in the arena (1 Cor. 4:9).” 2
Has Western Christianity stolen our ability to reflect Jesus’ manner and way of living life on-mission?
If yes, how do we Re-Jesus missions?
To answer this question, we would need to latch on to Jesus as He walks the neighborhoods of his time.
I have decided to do just that — read the Gospel of Luke and learn more about Jesus’ way of missions. I thought you may like to go on the journey with me.
I will leave you here with one question to think about for next time:
- Did the One who spoke the Great Commission know the best way to practice it?
P.S. I am not writing this blog series as a theologian, but rather as an explorer of all things missions.
1 Michael Frost & Alan Hirsch, ReJesus: A Wild Messiah for a Missional Church
2 Jonathan Bonk, Missions and Money Affluence as a Missionary Problem…Revisited