To know Christ and to make Christ known

by Pam Tinsley

“To Know Christ and to Make Christ Known” is the mission statement of the church I attend. As I’ve been thinking about Living God’s Mission, especially in the context of Demi Prentiss and Fletcher Lowe’s book Radical Sending, I’ve been pondering this mission statement. What does it mean to “know Christ”? How do we come to know Christ? And how do we make Christ known – especially today in a nation that’s increasingly secularized or where we are surrounded by many good people who are “spiritual, but not religious”?

One of the ways I’ve come to know Christ is to watch people whose lives reveal Christ to others. I attended a Celebration of Life for one such person recently.

I knew Darlene only within the context of our church. She had touched me with her warm hospitality on my first visit at a time when our family was grieving and seeking a community that would simply hold us and help facilitate our healing. Certainly, Darlene was making Christ known to me by her welcome that day!

As friends and family members remembered Darlene at her funeral service, over and over they shared the different ways that she had shown how much she loved and cared for them. As wife, mother, grandmother, sister, friend and neighbor, Darlene’s vocation was caring for and loving others as she offered comfort, an extra plate for her sons’ friends at the dinner table, a kind word to the neighborhood kids, or the many sweaters and scarves she knitted as gifts.

Darlene’s faith in Christ was a quiet faith. Sunday worship and church community nurtured that faith and sustained her in her vocation of living Christ’s love in her care for others. And her actions are a reminder that anything we do in our daily lives can be transformed into vocation – making Christ known – when they are centered on Christ.

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