When people ask about how we are progressing with being equipped for mission, are we bold enough to return the question with “How is your mission work going?” You are the epicentre of what God is doing in your life, but there is an outward ripple effect. As Sharon Sampson says, “As a stone dropped into water makes rings which move outward, so Jesus moves us outward”.
When I was making a career decision a few years ago I needed to make a choice which had monetary implications. When I asked a friend for advice, he said to me, “Brad, don’t worry about the money, always chase value”.
Sometimes we look at what we’re giving up instead of what will be replaced by what we’ve given up. We’ll never know what God will replace those things with until we are willing to give up the things we hold onto. So, chase value. Where is the real value found? It’s in what God replaces those other things with. But you’ll never know if you don’t give up the things that might stop you seeking first His Kingdom.
In this article, Tim Chester, writes about Jim Elliot and his co-workers who chased real value.
It doesn’t matter what your goal is, what strategy you have, how gifted you are or how impressively resourced you are; if you don’t have both the humility to learn and the humility to invite others to help you do that, you will always struggle in cross-cultural ministry.
If you’re interested in learning about church planting in hard places, 20Schemes is a great resource from a team of people seeking to plant churches in the housing schemes of Scotland. Read how a 20Schemes worker learnt the importance of adopting a posture of humility.
We have more than a few Connect participants who are studying full time. So here’s a helpful article about how to belong and thrive in a local church while living student life.
Whatever you’re up to today, remember that your bigger goal of reaching out to the Unreached is an awesome thing. Be encouraged by this great clip and song from Matt Papa as he tells the story of John Leonard Dober & David Nitschman.
He’s worth it! Extend His Glory.
The book of Acts in many ways is a story of identity. It starts out with a small group of people, mostly from a Jewish background, who lived in Galilee. But this small group saw themselves as followers of a Teacher, who they were sure was the long-awaited Messiah, the Son of God.
After His return to Heaven, this small band stayed on in Jerusalem, as He’d instructed. Galilean, together with Judean followers, these followers did have some sense of common identity, but it wasn’t until after the Holy Spirit arrived on the day of the Pentecost that they really began to have a presence in the community as a distinct group.... read more
They are immediately forced to deal with the reality of being a minority group within a larger unbelieving and increasingly hostile community. As they continued to think about their new identity, God continued to reveal Truth and unfold His Story for them. As Jesus promised, the Holy Spirit was with each of them, and with them as a Group, a Church.
Just as the writings of Moses and the prophets defined God’s people under the Old Covenant, access to the Apostles teaching, defined the Church at its beginning. God, through the Apostles teaching, made very specific declarations to these believers about who they are.
We’ll discuss this more during our upcoming workshop, but Identity is strongly linked to Purpose. The purpose of living and working in partnership with His Son, Jesus Christ. To the Ephesians, the Apostle writes that they are members of the Body of Christ with the goal of reaching maturity (Ephesians 4:13-16).
As we saw yesterday, the early churches are told they are God’s temple, a place for His Spirit to live on earth. The Church is a living letter from God through which He communicates to the community. They are witnesses, light, salt, living sacrifices. There’s also a future part to their identity and purpose as well. They are the Bride of God’s Son, made to be His perfect companion, to give glory to their Redeemer and Lord for all eternity.