He had been walking through a town with a missionary colleague when they encountered a young man. “Where are you moving?” the young man asked. Chuck thought he was asking about a potential move by his missionary friend. Instead, the young man was asking where they were headed that day.
Where are you moving? That’s a great question for our congregation and for us as followers of Jesus. Chuck Lingquist offered three possible directions for us to consider.
1. Moving to the Lost
Although the body of Christ is present on every continent and in every country there are still billions of people who have not heard the good news in a meaningful way. Even in our own town and county there are those who have not encountered the gospel in a way that speaks to their lives.
God calls his followers towards those places where faith and unbelief meet. It takes beautiful feet” of believing people to reach out to the lost. This is what we will hear this Sunday in the passage from Romans (10:14):
But how can people call for help if they don’t know who to trust? And how can they know who to trust if they haven’t heard of the One who can be trusted? And how can they hear if nobody tells them? And how is anyone going to tell them, unless someone is sent to do it? (The Message)
Many people in our own community do not know a Christian and many of us do not know any non-Christians in a personal sort of way.
Where are we moving? If we want to move with Jesus on God’s mission then we need to ready our feet, put the good news in our mouth and begin to engage those who have not heard it.
2. Moving with the Church
When we think of reaching out to the lost we may find ourselves afraid to participate or say anything to anyone. However, we are not alone in this mission. The way God moves toward the lost is through the found: you, me, us, together.
We have brothers and sisters at Trinity and Sonrise and Askur and many other mission outposts in our town and county.
Mission is not something we do alone, In fact, the Scriptures always speak of it in the plural. When Jesus commanded: Go! (Matthew 28:19-20), it was directed at all of his disciples, not just you or me, Peter or John.
We need to stop living our Christian lives as lone rangers and instead, work together in this mission.
We cannot even be “lone congregations” in God’s mission. God’s people need to begin to work together in Ponoka Town and County. It’s why Paul spoke of us as the “body of Christ.”
God’s mission has a church. Not just individuals or congregations, but people who have been called and gathered together by the Holy Spirit to live with mission in our blood. God’s mission must permeate everything we do. God’s mission owns us and requires that we work together.
3. Moving to Jesus
God’s mission is not an end in itself. We’re not just out there sharing our best ideas about Jesus or God’s kingdom or trying to make the world a better place. Instead, God’s mission moves us and all creation towards Jesus.
Christianity is ultimately Christ. It is living in the Spirit of Jesus Christ himself. It is an intimate relationship of the body directed and controlled by the head, Jesus the Christ.
Just as the Father sent the Son (John 20:21), so also the Son sends us: the body of Christ. It’s always about Jesus because the world doesn’t need us. The world needs Jesus.
God’s mission is not about us figuring out what our mission is. It’s simply us joining Jesus in his mission where he already is. Jesus is already out there on the streets of our town and on the roads of our county. We are being sent to join him in bringing people back to God and bringing God’s healing to our town, our county and God’s world.
So where are you moving? And where are we moving? Are we moving with God’s mission towards our town, county and world? Are we moving with our Christian brothers and sisters? And most importantly, are we moving into the heart of Jesus?
Jesus is on the move and he invites to come and follow.
– Adapted from Connections Magazine: “Where are You Moving?” (January/February 2012, pp.3-4,40)