4 (Bad) Excuses For Not Living On Mission

I’ve been a Christian for 10 years. I have a pretty good grasp on scripture, the gospel, and Jesus. I know that this life is about advancing God’s kingdom for God’s glory. But I’m also really good at making excuses.

I think we all struggle with this: putting other (seemingly good) things before obedience to God. And if we are honest with ourselves, that may be one of the major things that is keeping us from pursuing mission.

So, here are a few seemingly good but really bad excuses for not living on mission with your neighbors, co-workers, classmates, etc.:

1. I need to focus on my family’s spiritual well being
This is true. Parents, you need to be focused on raising your children up in the Lord and loving your spouses. But if you aren’t living an exemplary life of pursuing lost people with the gospel, you are leaving out the major theme of the Bible in the spiritual leadership of your family: that God sent his son that whoever believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.

What better way to teach your children about God’s mission than to have non-christian friends over for dinner, or share evangelism stories from the work-place.

2. I’m busy doing other things that please God

Maybe you’re at church 3 times a week. You’re involved in countless other ministries, teach Bible studies, have small group, etc. That’s a schedule packed with spiritual things. But Jesus was clear that just as he was sent by God, so we are sent by him (John 20:21).

It is very possible to become too busy with spiritual things that we neglect the primary command of God in scripture; to go. Evaluate your schedule. You may need to create margins for living on mission.

3. I’m just not qualified to have spiritual discussions about the gospel
Are you saved? How’d you get saved? By faith alone in Christ alone? Good. You’re qualified. Don’t be intimidated by spiritual conversation. Tell people about what Jesus did for their sin on the cross. The Holy Spirit will take care of the rest.

Also, being on mission pushes you to read and study the scriptures (and vice versa). You may feel unqualified because you don’t study your Bible.

4. I don’t have the gift of evangelism
This is usually a reference to Ephesians 4:11 where Paul lists different gifts given to equip the saints for works of ministry. And yes, there are people who are gifted by God to be evangelists. It comes easy for them because God has wired them this way.

But the great commission shows that while some are gifted to be evangelists, even those who aren’t are commanded to go. We are disciples just like the 11 in Matthew 28:18-20: And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

There are countless other bad excuses. Please share so we can ward them off when the temptation comes.

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2 thoughts on “4 (Bad) Excuses For Not Living On Mission

  1. WOW, I am real bad! I use all 4 of these excuses too often!! I also use, “All my neighbors say they are Christians and that they go to church, so why do they need me to talk to them more often?”
    Thanks for posting this. Conviction is good!

  2. Kevin,

    Your point about family is especially poignant:

    “But if you aren’t living an exemplary life of pursuing lost people with the gospel, you are leaving out the major theme of the Bible in the spiritual leadership of your family”

    When we neglect to include mission because we need to focus on our families, then we neglect to model following Jesus for them. At the end of the day, we are teaching them that it is okay to knowingly not do something that Jesus told us to do, which is really as rebellious and wicked as any other sin.

    I also appreciate your point about the gift of evangelism because being introverted, I am socially awkward in 1 on 1 or 1 on 2 conversations. However, this doesn’t give me a pass from living on mission.

    A great one to overcome this is by doing mission in community so that the diverse gifts of the body are used not just within the body, but are used for external work as well.

    I think the excuses that I usually find most tempting for me are: that I am in ministry so I don’t know a whole lot of non-believers and that I will do that later when my life settles down a little.

    Of course, both of those are wicked rationalizations for my disobedience. Jesus calls us to know non-believers, so my first excuse is not an excuse but a confession of sin (whenever I have used that excuse). Further, my second excuse is a lie in all arenas of life and procrastination never helps anything.

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