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The Rob Skinner Podcast

Feb 25, 2021

Today on episode _83,  I’m going to talk about how to put the passion back into your relationship with God.  When you became a Christian, you made a decision to make Jesus the Lord of your life and go anywhere, do anything and give up everything.  Sometimes though we end up wondering where our fire went, where our fruitfulness went, where the fun went.  If you would like to reignite the passion you once felt, you should consider going on a mission team.  I’ll talk about why God may be calling you to step out on faith and GO and make disciples this year.  It’ll be the best decision you ever made.  Here's why God may be calling you to the mission field:

  • Fourth Soil Fruitfulness
  • First String Living
  • Leadership Training
  • A chance to make lifetime friends and memories
  • A chance to sacrifice and put your faith into practice for Jesus
  • A chance to start over
  • An opportunity to inspire the Kingdom of God

Transcript Below:


I'm Rob Skinner. And this is the Rob Skinner podcast. Today on episode 83, I'm going to talk about how to put the passion back into your relationship with God. When you became a Christian, you made a decision to make Jesus the Lord of your life and go anywhere, do anything and give up everything. Sometimes though, we end up wondering where our fire went, where our fruitfulness went, where the fun went. If you'd like to reignite the passion you once felt, you should consider going on a mission team. I'll talk about why God may be calling you to step out on faith and go and make disciples this year. It'll be the best decision you ever made. All this and more on this episode of the Rob Skinner podcast.



Welcome back to the Rob Skinner podcast. My goal is to inspire you to live a no regrets life, make this life count, and multiply disciples, leaders and churches. Just a day or two ago, I got the book mailed to me the mission. And it's an updated version of a book that was published back in 1994. William and Kristen Lambert are the editors of it. And essentially, they've interviewed different church leaders from all over the world and what they're doing, and about their passion for the mission. Now, nothing gets me more fired up than talking about the mission and mission teams. I mean, I started reading it immediately. And I was just like, that's awesome. And I hope to interview some of the people in the book and the editors themselves. If you're listening, give me a call. I want to talk to you about your book. But it's got a great introduction by Randy McKean. And it's a great book. But it made me think about mission teams. And I'm, I'm just passionate about it. I want to plan as many more churches as I can before I die.



One of the churches that I'm working with right now is trying to get a mission team to Flagstaff, Arizona. And it's exciting because we had over 20 people on the last mission team meeting, who are excited about going there. I'm interviewing leaders right now I've got some people in mind. It's really awesome. I'd be just meeting together the people and talking about it gets my blood pumping. And I'm also excited about a mission plant and going out to Hilo Hawaii that Gary Roberson is organizing. So, there's a lot of work. And that's just the domestic work that doesn't even include foreign missions and other stuff that's going on. But I want to talk to you today about 10 reasons why you should consider going on a mission team. Now you might be thinking, Oh no, I'm not good at that. Or I might be part of a big church or whatever. But I want to I want to persuade you; I want to give you 10 reasons why God may be calling you to go on a mission team. Now I'm talking to you whether you're in your 20s or 30s, or 40s, you got six kids. Mission teams are for everybody. And, boy, you need every type of person to go on a mission team. So, if you're thinking about it, just listen to this. And we're going to we're gonna talk more about it. First of all, what makes the mission team so special? Why should you go What's the benefit for you? That's what I want to cover today.



  1. My first reason why you should consider it is fourth soil living fourth soil living.



In Mark chapter four in verse seven through nine. Jesus said Other seed fell among thorns which grew up and choked the plants so that they did not bear grain. Still Other seed fell on good soil, it came up grew and produced a crop, some multiplying 30, some 60, some 100 times Then Jesus said, whoever has ears to hear, let them hear. Still others like seeds sown among thorns hear the word, but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth, and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. Others like seeds sown on good soil, hear the word accepted, and produce a crop some 30, some 60, some 100 times what was sown.  Now this is an awesome passage, and Jesus is just talking about our different responses to the Word of God. And we often use this for non-Christians and talk about how people are hard hearted, or they're choked out. But the third soil, if we're really honest with ourselves is where many of us end up living a majority of our Christian life and not intentionally, but it's kind of the default setting for the Christian life, especially if you're in a first world country where most of my listeners are, are living. We get choked out by worries, desires, deceitfulness of wealth. And the result is we're barren and unfruitful. Now, I'm not saying that you're barren and unfruitful, but I'm saying that it does create a tendency to be more barren and unfruitful than if let's say, we have less of those things. So as a disciple, which soil Do you want to live in? Do you want to be in the third soil, which is the soil that gets choked out by things, or the fourth soil now the fourth soil, hears the word accepts it, produces a crop 3060 100 times what was sown?



Now, I would guess that if you're listening to this podcast, you're like, I want to be in the forest soil. Absolutely. That's exactly where I want to be. But I gotta tell you, there's been times in my life where I've totally been choked out by weeds, all sorts of desires for other things. And I have, I've gone for long stretches, have not been fruitful.  And that's just a fact I and I just had to go, Whoa, I am totally in the third soil. So, I'm not trying to shame anybody. I've been there. And I know what it's like. And it takes picking up your roots and getting into a good soil. That's why a mission team is so powerful. The benefit of a mission team is its singular focus, saving souls. In large churches, that can be so many different ministries, you've got the I just don't even want to go through the long list. But you know, you've got all sorts of different meetings and all sorts of different stuff. There's administration and let's do this. And let's focus on this. When you go on a mission team, it gets stripped down. All it is, is let's baptize people, let's save souls. And if you're like me, you got I like that kind of a focus. I like knowing what I'm there for and making disciples.



There was a couple that we invited to come on the Tucson mission team, and I did this lesson for them when we were recruiting people back in 2012.  And they were from a large church, and they called me after I did the devotional. And they said, Listen, Rob, we'd really like to go, we think it'd be great. But we got to be honest with you and tell you a little bit about ourselves. We haven't studied the Bible and baptize somebody in 17 years. Not since we were singles.  And at that point, I was looking for anyone who is willing to go and had a pulse, and I'm like, Listen, it's okay. If you go, God's gonna bless you. You're gonna be really, really fruitful. And luckily, they believe me. Because they went and they helped. Working along, you know, side of us, they helped like eight couples become Christians. It was awesome. And in just a two- or three-year period, it was amazing. I mean, they just helped us to build the church so powerfully. And this couple had not literally had confessed, had not been fruitful for like 17 years. Now. Listen, you might be listening. Go man, I can't even remember the last time I baptize somebody.  Don't, don't judge yourself. Don't get hard on yourself. Maybe that's God saying, Hey, listen, it's time to pull up the roots of those weeds and move to a different place where you can focus just on that. It’s worth thinking about.



  1. Second reason you should consider going on a mission team. First string living, first string living.



I like to watch you know basketball football a little bit. I'm not a huge I'm not a fanatic. When it comes to sports. I like to watch I mean, when the playoffs come along the Super Bowl, I really get into it but regular season. I'm not really into it. I'm not a huge soccer fan either. I'm just, you know, kind of a fair-weather fan. But one thing I noticed when I watch teams is you look at these guys on the bench.  And you think about it, man.  Growing up in primary school, and then high school, college, they were the best of the best. They always play they everyone else is on the bench. But now many pros never get to see any time in the game. There was a guy that I knew from Oregon, where we lived before we moved to Tucson and he was a superstar. He was like Oregon player of the decade. I mean, just an amazing player won the championship in the state. He went to Duke and then he went into the pros. And I saw him one day, you know, years at pass, and I just see him playing, sitting on the bench not getting any minutes at all. And I go, how does that happen? Well, those people are still awesome. But they just aren't quite good enough to be on the first string.



And taking that to a spiritual focus many times in, in many times in established churches, we don't get time because there are a lot of other great disciples around us. And we can feel like we're on the bench.  But we still have the skills, we've still got game. We can still baptize people. But other people are preaching other people are active and leading, but you're still awesome. And what's great about mission teams is everyone gets to go into the game.  In fact, he joined a mission team, you'll be begging for time on the bench just to take a breather.



When we planted the church in Tucson, Arizona, I forgot to look for a song leader. I was like, Oh my gosh, major oversight. Did not did not forget to think about it. Okay, just a little note to yourself, if you're planning a mission to make sure you get a good song leader. But anyway, there we were first service, no one knows how to lead songs. But then a brother comes up to me and goes, Hey, I'd like to try it.  And he'd let a couple songs in the past. And so, he started doing it. And guess what, he became our primary song leader. And over the course of the time, his time in Tucson, which was like five or six years, he became a great song, song leader, his name is Matt Mike. And he started with very little background. But because he was forced to get into the game, he became great at it. He just did it every single week. And guess what, he became great. And he was an excellent song leader.  But that's another reason. So, if you're kind of sitting around going, Hey, I could do something I other people are doing it. But I'm kind of just sitting around, think about a mission team. Because I'll tell you, there's a lot of small churches where they would love to have your talent. And there's a lot of disciples that are 20 3040 years old, his disciples, and even on the bench long time. But if you went to a smaller church, you'd be a starter you would be you'd be the LeBron James of that small church, you would be just like, Whoa, you're amazing. So, think about that.



  1. Third reason to consider going on a mission team: leadership training.



Some of us are young and hoping to lead in the future. And I if that's you, I go, Man, that's I'm talking to you. You want to make a difference with your life you want this life to count? Well, there's no better way than going on a mission team. And this always puzzles me why young people don't want to go on a mission team, I go, man, if you really want to make a difference. If you want to grow mission teams are like the place because it forces you to do everything. It's like it will train you to be the very best disciple you can be. Now I'm not I'm not saying that you can't be a strong disciple in large church. But what I am saying is that the environment of a small mission team where you have to be engaged in some dimension, really provides great opportunities. I want to share a couple examples. One, when we planted the church in Ashland, Oregon, that was a self-supporting ministry. And so, we had like, I remember we had about eight people in the church, you know, a year into it or something. I was happy because we started with to just Pam and me. And then we got to a and I was like, all right, man, we've, we've quadrupled, we're cranking. This is incredible growth. But I thought we need a campus minister. And so, I told everybody said, Listen, we're gonna raise $15,000 I calculated it out. I said, Okay, we're gonna get part time salary, you know, 20 hours a week, times minimum wage, and we're gonna hire somebody. So, I thought, I think is about 15,000 US dollars. At that, that price. And we hired a guy named Chris Schwartz and Berger. And Chris came down and he became our campus minister. And I mean, it was really rough. Like, at one point in preparation, he ended up getting married, but he was trying to save money. We had him stay in the church. We were renting a church building and he slept in one of the children's ministry rooms. This guy was so dedicated. He was hardcore, heavy people. This is a very lonely and desolate church building and people would come around and do drugs around the corner and Chris would hear all this at night. There was no shower. There was a kitchen but no shower.  And but he was willing to do it. And he became just an amazing, amazing leader and a preacher. He's already really good at it.  Somebody just became better ended up marrying his wife, Amy there, she was one of the first conversions on campus. And then he became a church leader. And he leads a church now in Spokane, Washington.  But because I was working full time, he got a lot of reps, he got a lot of chances to preach the word and he became awesome. And he built that campus ministry at Southern Oregon University. Another person who's like that is a man named Brad Thomas Shira, Brad was converted on campus. Right when Chris was leaving, and he was a wrestler, and there was a lot of Hawaiians that were being converted at the time. And he was a wrestler, and he became a Christian just had an incredible and still does has an incredible heart for God. Well, when I saw all these Hawaiians became becoming Christians, I talked to risky, I know who is leaving the church in a wahoo at the time, and I had them come out and visit I said, Listen, you gotta you got to get these guys to come out to Hawaii when they graduate, because they're just awesome. And so, Brad ended up going back with his girlfriend and fiancé, and then his wife, eventually, Alicia, they got married, went back and went into the ministry in a wahoo. And now they lead the campus ministry at the University of Hawaii. And he's just, they're just an amazing couple, but they are both converted in a very small church and small churches. Because they have so few resources, those early conversions, just, I don't know what it is about them, they just have more faith, they just really do because that's all that that's all it's the only thing that they have is the vision. Because there's the early churches can be just so rough. And so those early disciples big take on a lot of responsibility quickly, and they rise up quickly. And so, if you want leadership training, man, small churches are the way to go. He got the training; both those guys an opportunity that they needed in the small church environment.  And so just amazing in a Chris I appointed Chris as an evangelist because he got so much so many reps, and then he got hired away by a large church and just did amazing.



  1. Why else would you consider going on a mission team? Number four: a chance to sacrifice for Christ.



In Mark chapter 10, in verse 17, through 31, we know the story, as Jesus started on his way a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. good teacher, he asked what must I do to inherit eternal life? And then just Jesus goes on and he says, no one's good except God alone. You know the commandments You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery shall not steal, you should not give false testimony shall not defraud, honor your father and mother teacher declared all these I've kept since I was a boy, Jesus looked at him and loved him. One thing you like he said, go sell everything you have and give to the poor. And you'll have treasure in heaven, then come follow me. At this, the man's face fell. He went away sad because he had great wealth.  Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, how hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God. The disciples were amazed. I'm going to just read down in verse 31. He says, Truly, I tell you, verse 29, no one who has left home or brothers or sisters, or mother, children or fields for me in the Gospel will fail to receive 100 times as much in this present age, homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and fields along with persecutions and in the age to come eternal life. The many who are first will be last and the last first. Now, again, we use this for non-Christians, we talk about people that are not willing to sacrifice for Christ. But we need to also apply to ourselves and ask how would we do in that situation?  Jesus just lays down a gut-wrenching challenge to this guy. He says, Hey, just give up everything and follow me. Now, not everyone is called to do that. But again, Jesus said, unless you give up everything you have, you can't be My disciple. In in theory, yes, we decided to give up everything and make Jesus the owner of everything we own.  The mission team allows us the chance to step up and put our faith on the line.



Now fear just can start to really get our hearts pumping at this point, go oh my gosh, what's going to happen though, if I really do that, well, Jesus promises says, Listen, you won't fail to receive 100 times as much. If you sacrifice anything for him, you're going to get it back. Okay. And he says, not only in the end ties, but also right here in this world. And that's an incredible opportunity. Are you ready for that chance? I think about planting the church in Ashland, Oregon. My wife and I just resigned from our full-time position in in Idaho. We packed up our kids and jumped in Hop in u haul trucks and move to Ashland. It was scary. But now there's a church there. And I think about all the people that have been saved as a result, it was worth it. I mean, it was scary. I gave up my position. I didn't have any financial support. But I go, man, I do that again in a heartbeat. In my channel, I gave my family a chance to hear the gospel. Like it was awesome. You know that. But then I got called again to leave there and plant another church in Tucson, Arizona. That was tough. That was tough, too, for different reasons. Because at that point is like, oh my gosh, this really cost me financially to plant this church and Ashland. But if I stay here, I'm probably going to make quite a bit more money once the real estate economy starts to turn around. And I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. But I decided to leave that and I'm glad I did, because it worked out perfectly for my kids going to college here in Arizona, for so many different reasons. And more than anything, just to see more and more people being saved. Now, there's two churches where there were none, and I go, it's, I go, that's 100 times as much when I see those souls saved. I got man. So glad I did it. I hope. I'm doing fine. I'm doing great. But I go now there's a light burning in every city and I go, that's what I love to do. And when I think about the church that I planted, whether it's Portland or Ashland, or Tucson, or I think about the church we organized in Anchorage, Alaska, I go, man, yeah, it was a sacrifice. It was scary. I remember being asked to go overseas to Japan. It was scary. I'd never been there before. I don't look very Japanese. But I go, Man, I'm glad I said yes. It's so good for your faith, to make a sacrifice. So, if you're, if you're wavering on it, just go for it. It's okay. God will take care of you and they'll give you 100 times as much. What else?


  1. Number Five a chance to make memories and best friends for life.


Time seems to stand still on a mission team. Every day is amazing. It's new, it's fresh. It just, it's incredible how every day just seems like five days. We were in Portland, our first church planting back in 1991 30 years ago, we were only there for a little over six months. And yet, it seems like almost every day I can remember it seems more like I was there for six years. And I still have relationships with so many people from that time member one day, six people are baptized in a single day. And I've still got friends from those days. I think about john and Lynn O'Hara, who were baptized in that pool on the top of our apartment building. It was awesome. And they're just faithful disciples in the San Francisco church, that house church there. So, it's awesome. I've still got group many, many great friends from that time. And you get so tight on a mission team. I mean, you need each other and it's just like, you get bonded, hit like right away. And you'll always have those friendships for life. It's amazing.


  1. Number six, a chance to put your faith into practice and follow Jesus.


In Mark chapter one and verse 16, through 18, we know that passage, Jesus said, Come follow me and I'll make you fishers of men. And they left at all they dropped their nets, and I followed them. They had the privilege of walking with Jesus. What was Jesus doing, he was living out the mission. Now you already made this decision when you became a Christian. But remember, sometimes Jesus calls us twice. In john chapter one and verse 35, through 42. Jesus had already called these guys okay, before Mark chapter one, it's pretty clear that Jesus had already built a relationship with these guys. Now, when we read Mark chapter one, it seems like this is the first time Jesus is running into these guys, and just kind of like all out of the blue, he says, Hey, come on, guys. I don't know you, but just follow me. And I'm gonna make you fishers of men. But we read in john chapter one, verse 35, that those disciples were following john at the time. And they said, Hey, Rabbi, where are you staying? It says, we'll come follow me. And they spent the rest of the day with him. So that was their first call. Mark, chapter one was their second call to actually leave permanently and follow Him. And so, when you think about your calling to become a Christian, that's like your first call, and you listen, and I go, awesome, good for you. But sometimes Jesus calls again and said, Listen, I still need you. I still need you to come on out. We've got to, we've got to get the word out here, overseas and domestically. And you have to be receptive to when Jesus calls again. You know, maybe you're thinking I'd like to go overseas, or I want to go to a province. Or I'd like to go where my family is at and you know, maybe a small place that I don't know I don't know your situation. Maybe you're in a, in a country where you go, man, I really want to reach my family. I felt that way. But that maybe that's your second call and you go, okay, gotta listen to that voice and of course get advice. But you know what I told the Flagstaff members who are interested in plaques, I said, this is your second call. Make sure you take it. And I remember when Frank Kim called us to go to Tokyo, Japan. It was scary. You know, I didn't. I my only interaction with Frank prior to that was he came to one of my campus devotionals, the first one of the first times I ever preached in front of the students. And I was talking to my campus minister afterwards, and I said, Hey, what did Frank think about my, my, you know, my devotional, it's like, a five-minute devotional. And the campus minister said, Frank says, you need to learn how to preach. And, you know, I go, Okay, I got it. I gotta learn. So, you know, my, my prior experience with Frank was is kind of a bumbling intern, you know, ministry want to be, but then he's calling me to says, Hey, I'd like you to come out here and help support us and do the work of ministry here in Tokyo, Japan. And I'm like, does he remember who I am? Does Remember, you know, all the mistakes I made and how I struggled and nearly fell away.



But Pam, and I had made a decision. We're not going to say no, when God calls us. And we didn't, other people had been asked by him prior to that. And they said, No, now I'm sure they had good reasons for it. But I'm just glad that we didn't say no, because we had the some of the best 10 years of our life, learning from him and reaching that country. It's just an amazing, amazing place.


  1. Number seven, a chance to start over and have a fresh start.


I love that passage in Isaiah, when he says, forget the former things don't dwell on the past, see, I'm doing a new thing. And sometimes we just need to forget the former things. We've all made mistakes. And we've all gotten ourselves into situations where we go, I just wish I could fly away and have a fresh start. Everyone deserves a fresh start at times, we've all made mistakes, I've made so many mistakes, I just times I've just wished I just want to be somewhere else. The mission field is a chance to get around people who do not know you. They don't know your backstory. And in fact, those people who become Christians, those baby Christians will that you study the Bible, they'll think you're a spiritual superstar, even though you may be a complete, you know, you feel like I've just really failed in the past. But when those people start getting baptized, they're gonna look at you and go, man, I want to be like you. And I think that's really a powerful thing about a mission team is, you know, of course, you got to deal with your baggage and stuff like that. But you can start over. And I've seen so many people that had really tough situations and their backgrounds, they've fallen away in the past, they just gotten into major sin. But being in a different environment, totally raised their game spiritually. You can start over.


  1. Number eight, it's a chance to inspire the kingdom of God.


I love this church; this family of churches were a part of I love the kingdom of God. I love God's kingdom. I want to see it grow. Man. I just think about I dream of I pray about it in the morning is good Lord, I want to see our churches. Just go to a million disciples just 10 times before I don't let me let me be a part of the solution. I just God, please, please, please, please use me Help me to make a little difference. Let me encourage people let me let me help. Because I love our churches. I love our doctrine I love I love the attitude. I just go Yeah, we've made mistakes by God, man. I love these churches. And our churches need inspiration. Let's show people what God is able to do. You know, when we planted the church in Tucson, it was so awesome. And I just decided, Okay, well, we want to start big. And we had a team of 22. But we had almost 500 people at our first worship service. That was encouraging. It was encouraging for me, but I think it encouraged the kingdom. And that's what the kingdom needs is it needs fresh inspiration. And that's what you can provide.


  1. Number nine, a chance to witness God doing amazing things.


Habakkuk one, five. So, say I'm going to do something that you wouldn't believe even if someone told you. I go, okay. It's so cool what small churches can do because they can start to double and triple. When we planted the church in Tucson, it started with 22. In just two years, it grew to over 100 disciples. That's amazing to me. I just go I was inspired by that. And I've seen that happen over and over again. I remember when I was in Japan, I heard about a church and in a place called Surabaya, we were so inspired because they grew to like 100 in like a year, something like that it was just awesome. But the church can grow so rapidly. And it's so faith building, when you are a part of that and you go, Wow, I'm witnessing the footprints of God. I'm seeing his work in in changing lives. And that is so refreshing. Because if you've been around a situation that's been kind of stagnant, or it hasn't really grown much, you wonder, okay, I want to see God's power. Well, you see it very clearly. When God starts baptizing people, and he starts calling people and people's lives changed, and you hear their testimony you go, that's God, that's only God.


  1. Number 10. The chance to express our love for Christ


In john chapter 21, in verse 17, it says this, the third time you said to him, Simon, son of john,  do you love me? Peter is hurt, because Jesus asked him a third time, he loved me. He said, Lord, you know all things, you know that I love you. Jesus said, Feed my sheep. Do you love Jesus than feed his sheep, there's no better way to express your love for God than laying it all on the line and just going for it. I want to encourage you, if you are even a little bit like man that I'm thinking about that thought about that a long time, but I don't know. Just go for it. That's such an incredible way for you to say, Jesus, I am so grateful for you saving my life. I want to take a risk view, I want to lay it all on the line, and feed your sheep, take care of the last save people and build up an amazing family for God. Now, there are two golden opportunities domestically here in the US for mission work this year. There's a planting in Hilo, Hawaii, there are already about 22 disciples there in Hawaii. And they're looking to replant that church and build it. And so, if you're a retiree or a younger person, they're looking for a campus minister to lead they're looking to hire there. And think about that. I mean, that's like planning a church in paradise. Or Flagstaff, Arizona. I've mentioned that before. If you're thinking about that, man, just go on the team. You know, give me a call, text me, email me, you know, message me. And it's gonna be an amazing, amazing time. If you're interested in leading it, call me. Okay, just call me get a hold of me. I'm looking for a good leader. I want to make sure that this is totally successful and really saves a lot of souls. But there are also so many opportunities overseas. And I just got a message from Sean Wooten. And he's, he's like, hey, Rob, there are 10 churches in Eastern Europe that have no church and are looking for leadership. I'm just like 1010 countries. He said, there's 10 countries with no church in it. I'm still What? And so, he said, do you want to? You want to go there? I'm like to think about that. I mean, we need to get that gospel out there. There's so much room for expansion. We are a drop in the bucket. We can grow so much. I look forward to the day in our family of churches when you just don't know people because our family churches are so big. So, if you're thinking about it, just go for it. If you're feeling called by God, just please listen to his call. Pray about it, get advice, and go for it.


If you're enjoying this podcast, let me just ask you a favor. Hit the subscribe button. Make sure that they keep coming to you and then let your friends know about it and how to find it. Tell your church friends, your family and please spread the word because my goal is to inspire you to make this life count. Living no regrets life and multiply disciples, leaders and churches. Have a great day and make this life count.