key question #1By
At the burning bush, Moses received instruction to go back to Egypt. Jonah learned that he was to go to the city of Nineveh. Philip left a movement of God, compelled to go into the desert. Paul, unable to go into Asia Minor, made a beeline for Philippi. God sent these men to these select places. The instruction was clear and direct, though each heard Him speak in a unique way.
When the church prepares to do mission, there are several key questions to ask. The first is, “To whom are we sent?” It is important before moving out to know where and to what people the Spirit is sending His people.
The people to whom we are sent may be similar to us like in the situation with Paul and the Philippians. Perhaps there will be some marked differences in language, culture and station such as with Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch. It is possible that we may be called to a people that we have disdain for according to the story of Jonah–though it seems a wrong understanding of the heart of God and his resulting disobedience greatly impacted his view of the situation and his fish bait outcome. It is possible that the Spirit will send us back to a people we have left as happens in the story of Moses going back to his own in Egypt.
It is a blessing to serve the sovereign God who, in advance, prepares good works for us to do. He is the one that sends us out. Because of this, before setting out on mission, a people will do well to seek God to learn from him: To whom are we sent?