Have you seen the movie Wall-E? If you have small children, or are just a big kid like myself, you might have watched that movie.
It’s about a robot assigned to clean up earth while humans are on big luxury space ships cruising around in space having their every need catered to. They are to travel luxuriously until earth is cleaned up and organic life is restored. Wall-E runs into a few distractions here and there and gets a little side tracked when a girl robot lands on earth named Eve. Eve’s mission is to see if life can be supported again on earth. Meanwhile humans are cruising around the galaxy forgetting their mission because they are lulled into complacency by their surroundings. Several generations later all the humans are overweight and having to be helped around from place to place because they eat, eat, eat and relax, relax, relax. Inactivity has cost them greatly. When Eve discovers a plant on earth and arrives at the luxury ship demonstrating the need to return and get busy rebuilding, the robot who has been caring for the humans all this time tries to keep them from engaging their mission.
You will have to watch the movie to get anymore. It suffices to say that when people lose their sense of mission it affects them profoundly. But when they rediscover it those who get their sense of security from catering to them will fight against finding mission again.
This has happened to churches in our day and time. Mission gets lost in the every day living because everyone is just trying to get by from day to day, or they have had their mission redefined to something a lot more temporal than what Jesus had in mind.
So how does a church get it’s sense of mission back? How does an individual get their sense of mission back? There are two words we should consider this morning. Mission and Maintenance.
Mission implies that there is something to be done to actively change things. Change for the present and for the future.
Maintenance implies that all that needs to be done is whatever is required to keep everything just the way it is.
Every church is operating in one or the other of these two mindsets.
The humans in the Wall –E movie were in a maintenance mode. They had left the job of caring for something in the hands of another while they relaxed and fed themselves. They had become self aware and were willing to let others do their work for them.
Mission minded Christians are doing the work not expecting others to do it for them.
About The Author
- Tim Atchley
- Knoxville, Tennessee, United States
- I currently serve as Senior Pastor of Harvest Church in Knoxville, Tn. I was sent out from Trinity Chapel of Knoxville in 1993 accompanied by my wife Sheila our four children Sarah, Hannah, Josiah & Isaac and a handful of bold, brave and committed believers determined to plant our first church. Pioneering is hard work but well worth the journey. That is why we desire to make disciples of Christ who will, like us, also embrace the call to plant churches.