On mission for God's gloryby C. Walter Overman
David Nasser is a popular author, itinerant speaker and gifted communicator who has made a name for himself traveling the world and preaching the gospel to more than 700,000 people each year.
With a successful worldwide ministry, Nasser never dreamed he would pastor a church in his hometown of Birmingham, Ala. But that began to change two years ago.
“I started getting really burdened for my city. I really wasn’t a person who was on mission in my own city,” Nasser said. “God was calling me to missions there.”
Nasser shared the story of his transition from itinerant speaker to lead pastor of Christ City Church during the recent North Carolina Missions Conference at Hickory Grove Baptist Church in Charlotte.
He explained how he lost sight of his “Jerusalem,” while he preached the gospel to “Samaria and the ends of the earth.” One day when returning home on an airplane, he looked down from his window seat and saw Birmingham like he never saw it before.
Soon after that experience he began making plans and assembling a team to launch a church in Birmingham’s inner city. But the vision for the church extends beyond one part of the city.
“When God plants a church he has the world in mind, not one city, not one part of the city,” Nasser said.
Nasser said that although a church should be on mission to reach all ethnic, cultural and socio-economic people groups in its city, too many churches have neglected their Jerusalem.
He challenged the audience to be burdened for the vast number of lost people in their cities and he encouraged them to think about how their church can be on mission for the whole city.
“John Piper said it best when he said, ‘the church exists for worship; mission exists because worship doesn’t,’” Nasser said. “And so find the people in your city that aren’t into true worship and convert them. That’s missions and that’s why the church exists.”
Glory to God
This year’s conference theme was “Glory to God,” based on 1 Corinthians 10:31. “This weekend is not about us. It’s about God and what God is doing,” said Richard Brunson, executive director-treasurer for North Carolina Baptist Men (NCBM). “Our prayer is that God will lead you to what He wants you to be involved in. And that as you love God more you will love others more and you will glorify God as you serve others in Jesus’ name.”
The conference featured worship led by the Annie Moses Band, break out sessions and testimonies of what God is doing through North Carolina Baptists in places such as India, Honduras, Kenya and Haiti. North Carolina Baptists also gave testimonies about their involvement in mission efforts such as Operation Inasmuch and Disaster Relief.
Living on mission
Blackaby, speaker and author of Experiencing God and many other books, spoke about how Christians glorify God when they live on mission in their day-to-day routines, whether in the work place, school or at home.
“God calls every believer to be on mission with the Lord,” Blackaby said. “But is there a clear evidence of the presence and power and activity of God working in you and through you to touch your world?”
Blackaby said Jesus sees believers where they are and beckons them to join Him on His mission to redeem the world. When believers obediently follow Christ they experience God’s power.
“Heaven stands waiting to be released into the life of any child of God that is following the direction of God into the multitudes,” Blackaby said.
Following the direction of God requires living in his presence. For believers this means spending consistent and quality time with God in prayer and the study of His Word. When believers neglect time alone with God they often miss important opportunities to be on mission.
“If you’re not immersed in the Word of God, God does not have much of an opportunity to bring you under conviction as to what He is doing out of Scripture in the midst of your life.”
Blackaby said Jesus immersed himself in the Scriptures and that believers should adopt the same attitude. He said spending time in God’s Word at the start of every day is the best way to stay on mission, just as Jesus remained on mission throughout His life.
“Not to spend time in God’s Word early is to deny God the opportunity to speak into your life for what He wants to do in the midst of the day.”
For more information about North Carolina Baptist Men ministries, visit www.baptistsonmission.org.