Gus’ blog – Weakness in mission
Some of you might be aware that I am doing some research at the moment. I’m a few years in and I have a few years to go. My subject area is “The inefficiency of God and vulnerability in Christian leadership”. It’s a provocative title but I pray that by reflecting on the way that God works in his world, we might as his church, be less burdened as we seek to serve him. I don’t feel very efficient – in fact I feel quite broken. I have a stutter and I suffer from depression. So how does God use someone like me? Maybe you’re tempted to ask a similar question.
The agency for God working in the world is through the local church via his Spirit and his Word. God is surprisingly inefficient in this I think. We know that Paul the great Apostle, pastor, missionary and church planter showed that God works significantly in human weakness. It seems crazy! Paul writes of himself, “His letters are weighty and strong, but his bodily presence is weak and his speech is of no account” (2 Cor 10:10). Paul is afraid of the governor under King Aretas and so escaped through a window by being let down in a basket! Paul goes on to write, “If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness” I wonder if Paul applied for a pastoral job, whether he’s actually get it! He summarises his thinking by quoting Jesus, “My grace is sufficient for you for my power is made perfect in human weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
That’s why he boasts in weaknesses, because he trusts that’s how God works. We see that most clearly at the Cross where God demonstrated his love, mercy and justice, saved his people, defeated death, gave us an example of love and began the new creation all at the death of his Son in human weakness and then His resurrection 3 days later. It is clear that our worldly idea of efficiency and God’s notion of efficiency are quite often very different!
Why do I write about that here? Because in our weakness, though God’s Spirit and Word, God has said that he will grow his people and build his church. You might feel weak in that and that’s a good thing! That’s when God acts – in human weakness! So as we prepare for our upcoming City Bible Forum mission, trust that God is the God who will work through our weaknesses to accomplish his purposes. You might not feel very efficient or shiny as we invite our friends, family and colleagues, but that’s a good thing. If everything is humanly strong and there is no weakness, then where does the power of Christ show itself?
Let’s be praying in our weakness about the people we might invite to the mission breakfast in particular. David Robertson is speaking on ‘Is there any reason to follow Christ in modern Australia? What a great opportunity to share the good news of Jesus Christ with those in our lives.