This quote I received from John Stott has served to remind me of the need for today’s ministry efforts to be modeled after Jesus’ incarnation. We must not be satisfied with a church that is isolated and insulated from the world. It’s time for an incarnational invasion of the world.
“The Son of God did not stay in the safe immunity of his heaven, remote from human sin and tragedy. He actually entered our world. He emptied himself of his glory and humbled himself to serve. He took our nature, lived our life, endured our temptations, experienced our sorrows, felt our hurts, bore our sins and died our death. He penetrated deeply into our humanness. He never stayed aloof from the people he might have been expected to avoid. He made friends with the dropouts of society. He even touched untouchables. He could not have become more one with us than he did. It was the total identification of love …
“Yet when Christ identified with us, he did not surrender or in any way alter his own identity. For in becoming one of us, he yet remained himself. He became human, but without ceasing to be God. Now he sends us into the world, as the Father sent him into the world. In other words, our mission is to be modelled on his. Indeed, all authentic mission is incarnational mission. It demands identification without loss of identity. It means entering other people’s worlds, as he entered ours, though without compromising our Christian convictions, values or standards.”
–John R. W. Stott in The Contemporary Christian, p. 357.