Going into All the World, Especially Our Own Community
Most everyone knows the Great Commission, and every Christian should certainly know that mission that the Lord left for the church as He ascended back to His place in glory. In Matthew 28:18-19, Jesus famously said to His disciples, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations. . . ."
The challenge for most of us is actually being obedient to this call to make disciples of all the nations. I mean, most of us are not going to travel the globe and share the Gospel. Now, many of us do support foreign missionaries, through the church and/or independently. That is a great ministry, but it doesn't seem to completely fulfill the call on everyone of our lives to be an active part of making new disciples. So, how are we able to take a more active role in disciple-making?
Let me suggest that we ought to be sharing the Gospel here in our own communities and neighborhoods, workplaces and recreation centers. Along with opening our mouths and proclaiming the Christian message, we must seek to build bridges and open doors. Standing on the corner and shouting is most likely not going to be very effective. Thus, we must seek to foster relationships, serve the community, and show the love of Christ as we interact with others.
Of course, we expect this of one another individually, but we are also trying to provide opportunities to do these things as a church. For example, just in the past pew weeks, we have had a Prayer Walk for the Town of Rural Hall, and we are also serving the community on Saturday as we man a water station at Town Hall for the annual Flat & Fast 10K/5K hosted by the Rural Hall Area Business Association to support Rural Hall Elementary School for student programming and incentives.
The Prayer Walk, which several people supported, was a wonderful time of fellowship, exercise, and, most importantly, an opportunity to stand in the gap for our community before the throne of God while standing in the midst of our community. We hope to continue this special ministry into the New Year and possibly carry it out quarterly.
The water station this weekend will provide us the opportunity to meet new people, foster relationships, represent the church and Christ in the community, and serve the community selflessly.
My conviction is that these are the types of things that we need to be involved with in order to "build bridges" and "open doors" for the Gospel to advance in our own community and to make new disciples.