tonight i sat on the front porch at my friend’s house. anointed worship dvd playing, looking out over a late afternoon in the neighborhood. kids playing make-shift games, cows coming home – calling for their calves to follow, dogs at my feet begging for some attention…
in the relative quietness of this moment, my Savior washed over me. i am so grateful. i have been given a rare gift.
many are called to their own people. i believe there is a renewed urgency among God’s people to reach out right where they are. may they answer the call with confident boldness and never be ashamed. some are called to leave the familiar and exchange it for a life altogether different. i believe there is an awakening in the body for the millions who are fettered in darkness. may they press on toward the goal of their calling with unwavering passion and never look back.
somehow, i know He is carving a unique place for me. i am sure i am not the only one who falls within this “secret option number 3.” i have come to believe that it does exist.
there seems to have always been a great chasm between the “foreign worker” and the “lay worker.” why? that singular question has been burning a hole in the corner of my mind and heart for at least three years. we say the work done abroad is “good,” that “someone should do it.” however, when someone does, what do we do at home? we may hold a service, give a “love offering,” pat them on the head and send them out into the world. but no true connection is made. why?
out of sight out of mind?
how can the church remain one body across the continents and cultures? what is the missing link? we might even pull ourselves up by the bootstraps and go on a short-term trip. then what? briefing, culture shock, spiritual growth on steroids, debrief, re-entry…and then what? something happens and just like that we are right back in high school the month or two after church camp with no real connection to very much of anything.
how does this happen?
what can we do to cultivate a healthy body? how can we continue the work where we are and be an encouragement to those who have been called elsewhere? the work of the Gospel was never meant to be done in isolation. before you disagree with me…think about this.
the new testament is chocked full of letters to the church. you don’t write letters to people you are with…you write to the ones who are elsewhere. so, while paul was called to one place, God impressed upon him the needs, the failure and the successes of those parts of the body. and so he wrote. he was called to the work of the Gospel in jerusalem and writes to the romans, in the asia province he writes to the corinthians, in corinth he wrote to the galatians, from a roman prison he wrote to the colossians, the ephesians, the phillipians and also philemon to instruct and encourage, challenge and restore.
he wrote because he had heard either from them or about them. if there had been email, paul would have used it. if there were blogs…he would have had three. if there were facebook and twitter, his posts would litter your feed. because paul understood something about the body, about Christ and about people…
we have to communicate.
after all, isn’t that the most basic principle we get…
in the beginning was the Word
He spoke them into existence
He said to them, “Go…and preach…they will speak…”
the most common thread is communication not proximity. the vast majority of the new testament is communication among the body. nothing makes the knees of the enemy tremble like the Name of Jesus. and when those who are called by His Name rise with one voice, encouraging and challenging with instruction and restoration the gates of hell are shaken. and so, to the best of my ability, as i move into the next chapter of this journey,
i will communicate