Being ‘mission shaped’ means living one’s life with a focus on carrying out a mission. As Christians our mission is to point people towards God through the story of Jesus so that they may know him and experience ‘life in all its fullness’ (John 10:10)
Jesus gave us the perfect example of the mission shaped life. Everything he did was about bringing glory to his father through carrying out his mission:
- Jesus understood and embraced his mission from the beginning;
- He committed his entire life to the work of the Father;
- He sought to read and understand the word of God;
- He committed everything to God in prayer;
- He was never too busy to meet with people;
- He met people where they were at and ministered to their needs both physically and spiritually
This is not an exhaustive list of the way Jesus did life and ministry however it provides some excellent disciplines for us to apply to our own lives.
Much of Jesus’ ministry involved reaching out to the marginalised and meeting their needs. In our city most Sydneysiders enjoy a more than comfortable life but there are many on the edges of our communities who feel alienated and marginalised. People are marginalised for many reasons: Some because of religion or culture. Others because of mental or physical health issues, addictions or lifestyle choices, still others because of their sexual orientation.
Working at HopeStreet provides insight into what marginalisation can look like in Sydney and highlights the mission opportunities that exist. HopeStreet’s mission is to reach out to those on the edges of our society who for whatever reason are hurting deeply and have often lost hope. Based on the example of Jesus, HopeStreet seeks to meet people where they are at and tend to their needs both physically and spiritually, whilst helping them to rebuild their lives.
Just the other day I was sitting outside our cafe in Woolloomooloo chatting with two guys who have turned their lives around with the assistance of HopeStreet. Both shared that without HopeStreet they doubted that they would be alive today. After spending many years living on the streets, bound by drug addiction – and for one – doing time in prison, both are now housed, working and married and one I know has given his life to Jesus. These are but two of many similar stories that I love to share and that give me a deep sense of joy. But my joy is nothing compared with the celebration that occurs in heaven each time one of these lost souls comes back to God.
With the overwhelming need across our world it is often easy to overlook mission opportunities or to misunderstand the need that exists here in ‘our own backyard’. Jesus exhorted his followers to be his ‘witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth’ (Acts 1:8). The same applies for us today; we are to be his witnesses in our suburb, in our city, throughout our nation and to the ends of the earth.
Organisations like HopeStreet are a corporate expression of our mission as Christians; they carry out a collective mission but cannot function or indeed grow without your continued support. You can support HopeStreet through donations of money or goods.