Archive for the ‘Mission Monday’ Category

Mission Monday | Why I Love JAM!

Posted: May 22, 2012 by Rich Landosky in Mission Monday

Each year we take a team of middle schoolers to JAM up @ PBU.  This is our Middle School Mission Trip each year.  And once again, the trip and our students didn’t fail to amaze us . . . well, really, God didn’t fail to amaze and use these students and this event.

Our team led 10 children to the Lord!!!! Overall, the 300+ middle school students @ JAM this past weekend led 135 children to Christ!!!!!!  Enough said, isn’t it?!  I let some pictures tell the rest of the story.

Missions Monday | What About Me?

Posted: May 7, 2012 by Rich Landosky in Mission Monday

I was going to skip posting today.  Not really what I want to do.  Several reasons:

  • I’m not feeling well and I’m really tired as a result.
  • The creative juices just aren’t flowing right now (maybe as a result of #1)
  • I am swamped.  I’m having a hard time keeping up with everything.

Whaaaa, whaaa, whaaa. I don’t feel good, I’m tired. I’m not feeling creative. I’m too busy.   It’s all about me.

As I was going through these mental gymnastics in my mind and coming up with “reasons” to just skip today’s post, it dawned on me that this is pretty much the same thing I do – and maybe you do – with sharing the Gospel and serving.  There’s a world full of people dying with no hope and destined to eternity in Hell without God, but we so easily fall into the same trap Adam & Eve fell into back in the Garden of Eden and our minds focus on “ME.”  What about me?

Well, what about me?

  • God allowed me to wake up this morning.
  • God saved me by His grace. He allowed someone to care enough about me to share the Gospel with me.
  • God has given me the privilege of being a part of what He is doing in this world. (Think about that long enough and it will blow your mind!)
  • God has placed people in my life that have built relationships with and can share the Gospel with.
  • God has allowed me to spend eternity with Him!

What about you? How are you feeling today? What are your excuses? Where are your eyes focused?  Sorry, I got all “Cat & Dog Theology” on you today.  Actually, I’m not really sorry because I had to get all up in my own face first.

Mission Monday | Do We Really Care?

Posted: April 30, 2012 by Rich Landosky in Mission Monday

I was reading a blog from our Missions Conference speaker and Director of InFaith (the old AMF), Ridge Burns, the other day.  It was a story of a recent experience in a church in our area.  Here’s an excerpt:

As I was leaving my friends, I heard a church that had bells playing familiar hymns, and I thought I’d really like to hear some organ music, so I drove to the church, whose sign said it was “A Family-Friendly Church,” and parked in the parking lot. Knowing that I was terribly underdressed, I thought I would slip into the back of the church, listen to some organ music, and quietly slip out, not disturbing anybody.

So that’s what I did. I parked my car and walked into the church. It was not a large church, but it had a great organ. It was very formal, and it was really obvious that I was not dressed appropriately. I kept my stocking hat on because I had a pretty major bedhead from the rain.

What happened to me next I was not prepared for. Two men who were ushers came and asked me to leave the church. They told me I was not dressed appropriately and that I was welcome to come back when I had the appropriate clothes on to show respect for our God.

I graciously left because I was not there to cause a scene, but as I walked to my car, I thought how wrong this was, how wrong that we have to dress a certain way or have certain hoops to jump through in order for us to be acceptable to the local body that meets at a church.

My heart was saddened as I read that story.

This past Friday night we had our High School RIOT.  It was a small turn-out which can be a nice thing some times.  As I walked around and observed and tried to get involved in what was going on in different areas, I was struck by how there were some students there who almost seemed to be ignored.  Maybe they weren’t being ignored.  Maybe they had been talked to several times and invited into games and conversations and chose to be by themselves.  It is certainly possible that I missed some of that.  But it saddened my heart to see what I perceived as some students almost alone and looking out-of-place all night.

Ridge’s story and what I perceive to have observed this past Friday night have left me asking how much we really care.  Do we really care about the lost?  The lonely?  The hurting?  The outcast?  The ones Jesus constantly told us we should be caring for and about.  We spend a lot of time talking about evangelism and missions and what it means to live missionally.    We hold it up as a core value.  We give it mental ascent.  But do we really care?  Something seems to be amiss when we get escorted out of a church because of the way we look or when we find people lonely/alone and feeling out-of-place when we’re supposed to be welcoming and caring.  Have we gotten so comfortable that we just don’t care anymore?  Those questions lead me to some ideas for tomorrow’s “Tuesday Tunes” so make sure that you check that out while you ponder the question.

Mission Monday | Tragically Silent

Posted: April 23, 2012 by Rich Landosky in Mission Monday

At yesterday’s HS Missions Team Meeting we were discussing David Platt’s book, Radicalwhich we’re all reading as part of our preparation for the trip.  As we were talking about going to the nations, reaching those around us with the Gospel, of the reality that this is everyone’s job as a Believer, one of our leaders brought up a video that I had seen and had just about forgotten.  We watched a brief clip of it because we had it saved in the HS Room on the computer up there. I want you to hear the words of two authors and then the words of a professed atheist who strongly believes that God does not exist and that the Bible is a bunch of nonsense (to put it mildly).

The result is tragic. A majority of individuals supposedly saved from eternal damnation by the gospel are now sitting back and making excuses for not sharing that gospel with the rest of the world. – David Platt, Radical, p. 75

The injustice lies in Christians who possess the gospel and refuse to give their lives to making it known among those who haven’t heard. That is unfair. – David Platt, Radical, p. 159
We talk about everything else. We talk about football and we talk about what happened on the celebrity dancing TV show last night. We talk about politics, we talk about weather, and we talk about the economy. Yet Jesus, who has rescued us from eternal suffering, who is purportedly the Lord of our lives – about Him we fall silent. – Ronnie Floyd, Our Last Great Hope, p. 132
And now the words from Penn Jillette – atheist – about sharing your faith.
(I don’t recommend any of Penn & teller’s other stuff but this is worth watching because it speaks so loudly to us.)
So why are we so tragically silent?

Mission Monday | Why I Coach Baseball

Posted: April 16, 2012 by Rich Landosky in Mission Monday

In just a few hours I’ll be outside enjoying this beautiful day.  Nope, won’t be relaxing.  Won’t be enjoying some time fishing either.  Won’t even be out there going for a ride on my bike.  And I won’t even mention how much I wish I was going to be out there going for a ride on the Harley.  No, I’ll be out on  the baseball field with  my team of 7-8 year old boys.

Why do I coach baseball?  Am I trying to relive my baseball glory days?  Nah.  Am I that great a ballplayer with that much baseball wisdom that I just owe it to society to pass along the gems I know?  Far from it.  Is it that I just can’t get enough baseball?  I do enjoy the game a lot, but I hung up my cleats a few years ago. Still enjoy playing but I don’t need to anymore.  Is it because Dean plays and I want to be there because of him?  Well, there’s a little to that. Its not in the over-protective, I-have-to-be-everywhere-my-kid-is kind of thing though. I do enjoy spending the time with The Boy, but I could do that other ways, too.

I coach because it is a chance to be in the community.  Its a chance to be salt and light in the place God has placed me.  Its a chance to talk with parents from the community and maybe influence their boys in some small way.  Its a chance to build relationships with other men from the community and hopefully have opportunity to speak into their lives about Christ.  Don’t get me wrong. I love baseball and I love being able to be out there with my son and play with him and teach him.  But the main reason I pour all of this time into baseball is because I’m called to be salt and light.  This is my missions field.  My prayer is that I would be just that this season and that God would open doors for me to speak and that I would be courageous enough to walk into those moments and not shy away from them.

What’s your mission field and how are you purposefully being salt and light there?

We had an interesting discussion yesterday in the High School New Members Class.  As we were discussing baptism, one of the conclusions that we came to from Scripture is that Jesus commands Believers to be baptized.  Baptism isn’t necessary for salvation but it is, nevertheless, a command of Jesus directed towards those who have accepted Christ as Lord and Savior.  To obey Jesus’ command is obedience. That left us with another interesting conclusion: To not obey Jesus’ command is disobedience.  And disobedience is something we call sin.  But so often we shy away from that word.  We shy away from calling a Believer’s lack of obedience to a command from Scripture “sin.”

So what does that have to do with missions and why this discussion on a “Mission Monday?”  I was reminded of some of the things that we heard and meditated on at Vision this year.  Some quotes:

The greatest proof of our love for God is obedience.

Delayed obedience is disobedience.

Partial obedience is disobedience.

If we conclude, and I think our only option is to conclude this, that Jesus commanded us to GO – Matthew 28:19-20, Acts 1:8 – then to  participate in missions and going is obedience.  Missions = Obedience.  But to not go and be involved in missions is not just a choice because we’re not all called to it. It’s not an optional program in the church that we can opt in or out of.  If missions = obedience, then not living missionally, not going and participating in missions, is disobedience.  And as we all know from our days as children relating to our parents, delayed obedience and partial obedience are also disobedience.

So, what are you doing today to live out the great mission of God to reach the nations?

Mission Monday | What Will It Take?

Posted: March 26, 2012 by Rich Landosky in Mission Monday
Tags: , , ,

I found the following words penned in David Platt’s book, Radical, as he quotes a man who lives with his family in a country where it’s illegal to spread the gospel.

How many people have not believed because they have not heard? What will it take for those people to hear? Have they not heard because there is no one to tell them? What can we do, in obedience to God, to change a world in which there are millions and millions of people who cannot call on the Name of the Lord? Most of us would say we know the answer to that question. Many of us would even say we are doing things to change the situation. But the truth is, there will continue to be millions and millions of people who do not hear as long as we continue to use spare time and spare money to reach them. Those are two radically different questions. “What can we spare?” and “What will it take?”
This morning Rick Warren wrote on Twitter:
This generation has no excuse to not take the Gospel to all people.  I worked on 3 continents today using planes,trains,cars.
Warren’s point was not one of bragging about all he got done in a day and all of his traveling. His point is simply that with all of the technology we have at our disposal today – rapid transportation, the internet, social media, etc – we can, if we really choose obedience to God’s mission and call on our lives, reach the nations in this generation.
The question for each of us really is – Are we willing to give and do what it takes?  Or will we settle to give and do what we can spare?  And they really are two radically different questions. One will get the job done while the other will simply, at best, maintain the status quo.  What’s your answer?