I was in Kos Island, Greece. If you drive out of Athens, you will see a signpost pointing to Thessaloniki. The hotel I stayed in was practically built on the Mediterranean Sea. I touched the waters and constructed in my mind the path of the Missionary Journey. The more I look at reality, the more I think about a Call to Mission.
He hired 12 men for a mission. He trained them. He equipped them. Then, he left. Later, on the Day of Pentecost, He equipped them further. Largely, none of the disciples had a clear template for the call. It was in AD 69 when Roman General Titus was putting Jerusalem in ruins that the action began. Titus and Emperor Vespasian have destroyed the rebuilt Temple.
With Jerusalem desolate, the apostles had to leave Jerusalem to live. Mathew was killed in Ethiopia with a sword. Mark was tied to horses, dragged until he died in Alexandria. Luke was hanged in Greece. John was boiled in oil which he survived. He later served as the Bishop of Edessa (in modern Turkey); he died of natural causes. Peter was crucified upside down. James was beaten to death.
James, the son of Zebedee, was beheaded. Bartholomew (Nathaniel) was flayed to death by a whip. He had preached in Asia but died in Armenia. Andrew died in Patras, Greece, crucified. In India, Thomas was stabbed with a spear. Jude died on arrows. Mathias who replaced Judas was stoned and beheaded. And let me add: Paul was beheaded by Emperor Nero in AD 67.
The men executed the mission but I can assure you that few knew at the beginning the full playbook. From companies to nations, those that answer great calls typically shape everything. But sometimes they do pay severe personal penalties.
At different levels, a Call to Mission requires extremely committed people. Even in your business, you must have that capacity to find and recruit people that can help you execute a great mission. You must prepare them. Equip them. And push them to go for glory.
Jesus has a great template on how to accomplish missions: build and prepare an extremely committed team.
–the longer version is here.---
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