THE LIVING CHURCH • MARCH 23. 2003
What is done as part of a church group or program is merely a dress rehearsal, according to the retired national church staff officer for evangelism, who explained that what really matters to Jesus is how we live from Monday to Saturday.
“We keep Sunday so that we can live as Jesus wants Monday to Saturday,” said the Rev. A. Wayne Schwab. He spoke about organizing congregations around member mission as part of an annual celebration of the life of Absalom Jones.
The theme of his address was borrowed from a book titled When Members Are Missionaries, which Fr. Schwab wrote and recently published. Fr. Schwab hopes the book will assist congregations to develop better missionary strategy programs.
“Serving God in our mission fields is not as hard as it sounds,” he said. “Most probably what we are doing right now is what God wants us to be doing. Most of the time, no one asks each of us what are we trying to make better at home, at work, in your neighborhood, and so on. We need to learn to ask and to listen to the answers.”
Fr. Schwab divides the mission field into six categories: home, work, local community, the wider world, leisure pursuits and faith community. The difference between a missionary and the average churchgoer is that the missionary continually accomplishes the daily routine as part of a greater scheme to fulfill God’s design for reconciliation.
“Absalom Jones knew Jesus was with him,” Fr. Schwab said. “Did you know that Absalom Jones bought his wife’s freedom before he bought his own? He minded his home mission. And Jesus gave him the power to do it.”