The Mission (part 1/3): What Does It Mean To Go?
Jesus said, “Therefore [because I have been given all authority in Heaven and Earth], go and make disciples of every nation…” Many Bible quotations can be better understood when you look at the verbs. The verbs in this sentence are simple, but we’ve misunderstood them through time.
Go! We know what it means to go, right? We go to the store, or we go to the game, or we go to visit friends and family. It means simply to leave where we are. Somehow the Western Church has misunderstood this verb in Jesus’ “Great Commission”.
I like reading churches’ mission statements. I’ve read some really good ones and some not-so-good ones. The ones that are most disappointing to me are ones that use words like “beacon” or “to all who will listen.” These are passive mission statements, and there is nothing passive about the Great Commission. The calling of the Church is not to become a beacon which shines in a dark place and beckons people into our doors (although God will send people to a faithful church). The calling of the Church is not to be a hospital where broken people can come and be fixed (although that will happen within our doors). Jesus gives us the charge to be an ambulance instead of a hospital. He tells us to GO!
This is where my previous writings and statements about us being the church and not the building really take hold. In our making of disciples (perhaps next month’s article?), a major portion of the calling is to go to the injured rather than waiting for them to come to us.
In recent weeks, I have spent a lot of time in and with the people of Holton, IN. Their lives are greatly disrupted. They are injured in so many ways it’s hard to count them all. Many of us have been The Church and have gone to help the people of Holton in their time of distress, and we will continue to be. How ‘bout Lawrenceburg, Guilford, Bright, Hidden Valley, Aurora, Greendale, etc.? How are we going to these communities and making disciples?
This year, we are moving our Easter Egg Hunt from our property to Greendale Park. Did you know that Lawrenceburg had no public Easter Egg Hunt? Hidden Valley offers one, but the city of Lawrenceburg does not. That’s no longer true…because the people of Tanner Valley are going to where they live with a public service and the Gospel! This is an enormous undertaking…perhaps a couple hundred kids and over 1,000 eggs!!! We need lots of help and eggs for this, but this is only the beginning of God’s bigger dreams for His Church at Tanner Valley. What’s next? I may not know, but I know the One who knows and am willing to follow where He leads. You goin’?