Bishop Eduard Khegay
Spiritual renovation – is a natural wish of every Christian. It’s important for Christ’s disciples to constantly renew their relationships with God, both in the sphere of family, and in the church field, and in our service to the world. Many people, for example, speak of “semper reformanda” – a continuing reformation of the church.
When I’m asked about the recipe of a spiritual renewal, I often relate it to the understanding of a personal mission, and encourage people to take up a missionary work. Deep recollections about a personal mission help us realize God’s will for our life and concentrate our efforts on the crucial things. We need to get rid of unimportant things in our lives. The words “missionary work” might sound too frightening. But, hopefully, having read this article to the end, you’ll gain the inspiration and courage to serve in this sphere. I guarantee, that having got a deeper understanding of your personal mission and having devoted yourself even to a temporary missionary work, you’ll surely experience a spiritual renovation.
Let’s define, what “a mission” and “a missionary work” mean.
Mission answers the question, “What are we here for?” To fulfill a mission means to send someone with a certain errand to do some task. Military people use the same term and define the mission, for example, for a landing platoon.
I’m inspired by the stories of people, whose lives have changed deeply and positively. For example, once I read an article about the top manager of the Microsoft Company in China, who, being a young successful leader in this field, at the age of less than 40, left this business sphere and founded his own company, named “The Reading Room”. His new organization’s mission was to help in constructing reading rooms for the poor of South East Asia, so that the kids could learn to read. 50% of the expenses for this room were to be invested by the locals; the other half was to be given by the organization “The Reading Room”. What motivated that man? Why did he quit a prosperous job of a top manager and made his way to where people suffered financial hardships? The answer is obvious for me: that was the understanding of his mission, his predestination.
What motivated a girl, named Agnes, who was born in an Albanian village in the beginning of the 20th century, to become a nun and to sacrifice her life to serve the needy people? Again, that was the understanding of her mission, her special predestination. Thus, Mother Teresa was revealed to the world.
Personal mission answers the question “Why do I live for?” and “What’s my predestination?” I think, these questions worry us throughout the whole life, and the clearer the answer to these questions is, the fuller and more joyful our life is going to be.
Paul the Apostle expresses his life mission like this, “However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.” (Acts 20:24 – NIV)
The word “race” is a translation of a Greek word “Δρομοσ”, which can be also rendered into English like “the way” or “the course of life”. Practically, this is a mission. Paul the Apostle emphasizes the importance of a personal mission. The mission is bigger than life itself, because the Lord has entrusted it to man and counts on him.
What is your personal mission? What gifts has God granted you with? What makes your heart beat fast, arousing your thoughts at night? What is your predestination? If you had all the money you wanted, what would you act like? The clearer our mission, our life course is, the more joyful our life becomes, and the joy keeps on growing in the hearts of the people around us, because we do what God has predestined us for. Search for the answers to these questions prayerfully, ask God to give you a clear understanding, consult respectful people, knock and God will open the door for you; upon entering it, you will find your true self and make many people around you feel happy.
Our God is the God of missionary work. Our Christian church is the church on mission. The history of Christianity is filled with the various examples of the people who have responded to God’s calling and have become missionaries. Some of them devote their whole life to missionary work; others become missionaries for a certain period of time. Most of them take part in short-term mission trips. Thanks to missions, new churches, new leaders, seminaries, new ministries and initiatives appear. The Spirit of God is stirring the hearts of the people all over the world, sending them as ambassadors of Jesus Christ to bring love, peace and hope. Certainly, the Holy Spirit is touching your heart too. Follow God’s call.
Tons of various literatures are devoted to the issue of missionary work, and this sphere deserves a deep analysis and consideration. I only would like to emphasize the importance of this issue and encourage you to participate in a missionary work. In 2006 a group from our community, where I served as a pastor, organized a mission trip to Pskov; we served there together with our brothers and sisters. Together we talked, studied the Bible, prayed, painted walls, organized the youth camp and learned from one another. That was a wonderful and blessed time. The Lord revealed many beautiful and joyful things. We sensed how the service enriched our lives. Until now we joyfully keep on remembering this mission trip. Address the leaders of your community and ask them how you could do a missionary work in another city, another country, or even on another continent.
The previous year in Eurasia UMC was devoted to mission, evangelism and growth. John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist movement, had the same priorities. He was in a constant search of spiritual renewal, being on mission everywhere, covering hundreds and thousands kilometers to share the Gospel with the people in different cities and countries. I inspire all Eurasia United Methodists to create missionary teams and send them on mission throughout Eurasia. I’m sure, that God will bless us all abundantly and renew our hearts. Be brave and humble!
Read more in the book: Eduard Khegay “Brave and humble. Christian Leadership in Eurasia”
(Published in the magazine “Salt”, edition of the UMC in Eurasia).