Missional Vision

When they had appointed a day for him, they came to him at his lodging in greater numbers. From morning till evening he expounded to them, testifying to the kingdom of God and trying to convince them about Jesus both from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets. And some were convinced by what he said, but others disbelieved.

Acts 28:23-24

 

His name is Gordon McKenzie, and Mr. McKenzie worked for 30 years, to the day for the Hallmark Company. His job was to stir creativity among the employees of Hallmark. Hallmark has artists, poets, and designers. They’re creativity allows you to give somebody a card for their birthday or for Mother’s Day or Father’s Day or anniversary or whatever else.  Gordon’s job was to keep the creative fires stirred at Hallmark.

In addition to doing that, Mr. McKenzie would travel to elementary schools and lead creativity workshops. He did that for years and years and years, in hundreds of elementary schools. 

After it was all over, he said, “Based on my experience, when I go to elementary schools, I’ve seen the same pattern with students, over and over again.” 

“Here’s what happens.”  He continued, “If I go into a first-grade class, and I stand up in front of them and say, ‘Today I’m talking to you about art. How many artists do I have in this room?’ In a first-grade class, every kid will raise a hand to say, ‘I’m an artist.’”

“In second grade, about half of them will raise their hands and say, ‘Yes, I’m an artist.’” 

“Third grade, I go into the class – ‘How many artists are in the room?’ If it’s a class of 30, about 10 kids will raise their hands and say, ‘I’m an artist.’” 

“I go into a sixth-grade classroom, and I ask the same question. Very tentatively, one or two kids sort of hesitantly raise their hands and say, ‘I’m an artist.’” 

He concluded by saying, “What I see is that throughout our lives, there is a suppression of the creative genius that’s inside every person.”

Just as Gordon McKenzie said there’s a suppression of the creative genius that’s inside of every child, I believe there is a suppression of the missional vision that God puts into everybody’s heart.

God has sent you into your world to make a difference for Jesus. That’s what it means to have a missional vision. It means to understand that you are sent into your world for the purpose of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Gordon McKenzie says that the reason that that creative genius inside of a child tends to get suppressed is because there is a continuous pressure on them saying, “Hey, just be normal. Just live a normal life.  Just do the normal thing. Don’t follow all of these dreams. Just be a normal person.” 

Within the church, there’s that same voice, and it’s the voice of the enemy that comes and says, “Listen, you don’t need to even think about whether you’d go on the mission field, and you don’t even need to think about what God is calling you to do day by day and where God has sent you right now. Just be normal. Just live a low-key, nice, mild-mannered, nondescript, Christian life.  Just be normal.”

Can I tell you something?  A life that is not missional is not normal.  For a follower of Jesus Christ, normal is to say, “I am on mission for Jesus, wherever I am.” 

Have a great day, and keep moving forward!