This week I was privileged to share with two strategic groups within our branch of Christ-followers. Persons new (relatively so) to ministry among us convened in Indy to become acquainted with our sense of mission as a church, a church trusting to be in a position to catch the winds of the Spirit of God and be drawn into grand transformative movements in our nation.
I suppose that last sentence sounds a bit grandiose, yet it seems appropriate for this group. They are filled with passion and are convinced that nothing can stop what God wants to do through them. How refreshing! And, upon reflection I believe they may be more in touch with the real world than many who have been "at it" in ministry for a long time. I mean, we serve the God who created everything out of nothing and who raises the dead. The God who demonstrates he is unstoppable in carrying through his plans, except perhaps through the unwillingness and unfaithfulness of his own people. These new leaders among us are both willing and faithful. What a delight to hear their stories, celebrate their gifts, confirm their determination to give their all, and anticipate what only God can through their efforts. May their kind be on the forefront of what distinguishes our church in coming months.
Later in the week my colleagues in oversight–the team of national overseers in the FMC–joined me in southeastern Ohio for a consultation. We are in the work of overseeing–being good stewards of the church, facilitating all that God wants to do through our people all around the country. We convened with the conviction that powerful and transformative ministry that expresses the heart of Christ for the world requires us to understand and practice the skills of cross-cultural ministry. Just as Jesus didn’t "drive-by" and engage in mission from a distance, but became one of us and camped with our kind, so Christ-followers today will actually have to follow. They will follow him to the places he goes–to wherever the people are, especially those who need good news in a "bad way", they will follow, stop where he stops, put down roots where he settles and take authority to do Jesus-like exploits for the good of the people. Well, we met, taught one another, learned together, agreed that such work is our mission. And, we are determined that in time it will be "mission accomplished!"
I’ve been thinking that these two strategic events go together well. The first recalls the first love-passion for Christ that has world conquering power and the second has both the responsibility and pleasure of removing any and all hindrances to the flow of that passion toward making all things new.
Bless those who have just joined us and believe nothing can stop them, and bless us, O Lord, as you use us to make it so!