Ethan Hunt, Mission Impossible, and Your Mission

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses.
— Acts 1:8

It was Boys Night Out. Three of my sons, my son-in-law, and a family friend joined me for the adrenaline extravaganza Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol. Oh to be Ethan Hunt!

  • He's a good guy framed as a bad guy, out to vindicate his name, restore his team, and oh yeah ... save the world.
  • He's an international globetrotter racing across Dubai, Prague, Moscow, and Mumbai.
  • He scales the world's tallest building with malfunctioning adhesive gloves.
  • He thwarts a nuclear terrorist strike conceived by a Russian extremist.

Chuck Norris has nothing on Ethan Hunt!

The film received stellar reviews. One critic wrote, "Ghost Protocol is 'the second coming of Star Wars.'" Another commented, "This was Bourne Identity on steroids." With that much hype, that much heart-stopping action, and that much money (it cost $140 million to produce), I have to ask the question:

Is Ethan Hunt’s mission more exciting than your mission?

Despite the action, adventure, and accolades, I'll argue "No!" And if you need a refresher on the details of your mission, here you go:

So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.” Acts 1:6-10 ESV

In Luke's account of the story it is Jesus -- not the message -- that disappears. Now it is your mission to be his witness. What could be more exciting than to be used by God to bring someone from death to life?

How do we carry out this mission? How do we share a credible and winsome witness for Jesus Christ? Here are five insights to help you operate with Ethan-like effectiveness:

  1. Pray -- and keep praying -- for a person you know who is far away from God. Don't stop till God changes them.
  2. Lean on the Holy Spirit's power to be Jesus' witness where you live, work, or play. Only God can change the human heart. Rest in that truth.
  3. Build a friendship. People loved being with Jesus. Do they love being with you? Think friendship first.
  4. Write your story and look for opportunities to share it. Read Acts 22 for a guideline for sharing your testimony. Paul shared what his life was like before he met Christ, how he received Christ, and the changes God made afterward. That is a great template to follow.
  5. Preach. That's right, proclaiming the good news is everyone's job. God makes this very clear in Acts 8. Here's the lesson from last Sunday's message: We all preach the gospel in the power of the Holy Spirit in good times and bad times so we all get to experience the joy. Click here to watch/listen.
If you follow Jesus, your mission is to be His witness.

This message won't self-destruct in five seconds!