ALWAYS ON MISSION
As the summer break draws to a close, we begin to look ahead to the rhythms of the fall and the return of a more predictable routine. Before we do, though, I want to challenge us to consider carrying with us what we learned from some of the milestone events that marked our summer as First Baptist Church. I hope that we will see that these experiences are actually glimpses into what the normal Christian life should look like.
Throughout the summer, our church has participated in a wide variety of missions and evangelistic endeavors. In June, our youth choir traveled to Miami and the Florida Keys to sing of and show God’s love to people often forgotten by our society. At Vacation Bible School, hundreds of children — and volunteers — learned to follow Jesus, who gives us hope and courage. In July, our Builders for Christ team went all the way to Greenfield, Wisconsin to help a sister congregation better reach their community with the gospel followed by another missions team from FBCTLH serving in Haiti and helping local churches share the message of Jesus. And all of this was in addition to the work done by individuals and other groups throughout the summer both near and far.
Those weeks are usually mountain-top experiences for our souls and often leave us wishing we could remain in those special moments. Well, here’s my word of encouragement for you: we can. There’s no reason to forget the passion and excitement of serving the Lord in that way the other 51 weeks of the year. Instead, we should bring the intensity and boldness that we showed while being witnesses in Judea and Samaria and the ends of the earth back home to our Jerusalem. If you can talk to a stranger in Miami, Greenfield, or Jacmel about Jesus, then you can share this same hope with those in Tallahassee.
How can we have the same confidence here in our own community as we do elsewhere? Because the same Spirit empowers you wherever you go and whatever you do. So let’s trust God to use us to reach Tallahassee as He continues to use us to reach the world. Jesus’ charge to His disciples to take the gospel to the ends of the earth began with where they already were — in Jerusalem. As New Testament scholar Craig Blomberg writes, “Where are we called to go? Anywhere there are people in need of hearing the gospel, being baptized, or being taught to observe all of Christ’s teachings. Some will indeed travel cross-culturally, even to ‘the ends of the earth’ (Acts 1:8), but others will have to witness to friends, neighbors, and family members close by.”
According to God’s plan for His church, you don’t have to be a foreign missionary to be on mission for Jesus. In fact, every one of us is already called to be a missionary — to make disciples — right where God has already placed us, making the most of the relationships and influence God has already given us. So when all of your summer travel ends and you return home, remember that you are entering your primary mission field.