Dhati Lewis on Missional Obedience and Discipline
January 19, 2017
On Tuesday, Dhati Lewis invited the chapel from Mark 6 to take up the burden of missional living so that the Gospel can transform communities and neighborhoods.
Lewis is the Lead Pastor at Blueprint Church in Atlanta, GA. Dhati, born and raised in California, moved to Texas for his undergraduate studies at the University of North Texas and his graduate studies at Dallas Theological Seminary. While in Texas, Dhati served on staff at Denton Bible Church for seven years. He also served as the college pastor there and eventually planted a church, which he pastored for three years. Dhati is married to Angie and they have six children.
Addressing the chapel attendees, Lewis asked why churches need to be burdened by missions. “What are you burdened for?” Lewis inquired. “What keeps you up late at night? What grieves you?”
Lewis transitioned by telling a fictional story about a once well-established fishing town that no longer held that acclaim. Once filled with numerous fisherman and many fishing boats crowding the docks, the town now had retired fisherman who narrated boastful stories. Connecting the story to a burden of missions, Lewis said, “Those who no longer caught fish in that town really were not fisherman at all, no matter how much they claimed to be. So, is a person a fisherman if he never catches a fish (men)?”
Lewis affirmed that the mission at Blueprint Church is missions. “We believe that as the gospel transforms people, God places these transformed people into broken and dark situations where they become His hands and feet to help repair what has been fractured.” What is common throughout Scripture, said Lewis, is that the Church is on the offensive against hell, but many churches today posture themselves in the defensive.
“Missions grows our affections for Christ in others,” Lewis said. “As Paul instructs Timothy in 1 Timothy, the goal of instruction is love. The goal is not to be right but that others would grow more in love with Christ.”
Drawing from Mark 6, Lewis set the scene where the disciples and Jesus are hungry and tired. He said that missions aligns our hearts with God’s. “God is not passive in his mission. Passivity happens when a love for self crowds out the ability to love others. Jesus, in Mark 6, is fatigued yet he loves the crowds who come running to him.”
With a culture addicted to comfort, examined Lewis, we tend to be passive as opposed to actively engaged in our missional identity. “Missions reestablishes our identity as believers. God has chosen us to respond and reach various contexts for him.”
This missional life cannot exist without prayer and trust in God, Lewis said. In Mark 6:38-41, Jesus calls the disciples to feed the hungry around them, and this is something greatly beyond their capacities, so “missions reminds us of our deficiencies, driving us to pray to the God who is sufficient in all things.
“Lastly, missions is a discipline because God strengthens and sanctifies us through obedience to him. We like to philosophize on missions, but we need to be active doers of missions. And unless we make missions a discipline in our daily life, we are going to take the path of least resistance.”
Lewis concluded with the hope that God would continue to raise up men and women from Southeastern to make disciples and thus fulfill the Great Commission. Lewis said, “We just might continue to talk about our fishing headquarters and the call to be fisherman, but if we’re not catching any fish, are we truly fishermen?”
To watch Lewis’ message, click here.