Two weeks ago forty students from ten different campus ministries at UT spent three days together at the “Mission(all) Retreat.” The retreat, aimed at equipping many of this year’s missional community leaders, was a collaborative effort. College pastors from eight different ministries took turns teaching and equipping the students to live on mission in the coming year. The content for the retreat was fantastic, as we focused on three central themes: The Gospel, Gospel Identity, and Gospel Intentionality.
We began by remembering that the Gospel is for us. We need to be reminded that God is on mission. He came after us and sacrificed His Son to atone for our sin. Often, we who have followed Jesus for many years subtly begin to believe that we have earned God’s favor. We need to be reminded that apart from Christ, we are hopelessly under God’s wrath. As student missionaries, we’re nothing more than beggars who have been given bread and now offer it to others who are hungry. Growing in our understanding of the Gospel increases our desire to share the Gospel with others because we really believe in our hearts that it is good news.
Next we explored who God has made us in Christ. As new creations, we are now priests and ambassadors for Christ. This call is not for a select few. It is the call of every believer. We are His workmanship, created in Christ to do good works which he has already prepared for us. God has made every believer to be a light in the darkness on campus. As missionaries, we’re invited to be a part of God’s wonderful redemptive plan. Knowing who God has made us to be in Christ gives meaning and purpose to life and relationships.
Finally, we looked at the call make disciples. This call requires us to go to the lost, rather than rest in the security of our Christian bubbles. We are called to build deep friendships with broken and needy people to the degree that these friends see the broken places in our lives and the way the gospel is transforming us. As missionaries, we need to selflessly spend our time, energy, and resources loving the people in our communities. Living with intentionality causes us to live authentic lives that bring the tangible hope of Jesus to our friends.