I’m fighting off sleep even as I write this. I feel like I’ve had plenty of time to catch up – and even a little mustard – since I’ve been back, but the backs of my eyelids beg to be seen more often than they deserve. My trip to Poland was a gigantic refresher for me – personally, spiritually, and vision-wise. I’ve had the privilege and joy of being a part of global mission through collegiate ministry for many years, but this was my first international trip as a pastor.
Now begins the joyful and intimidating challenge of seeking to be a catalyst and mobilizer of my church and other spheres that I may happen to influence to take seriously the Great Commission. It is truly a wondrous and surreal gift that our God has given us – to be invited into the purposes and movements of the Trinity as God works in the hearts of men, women and children around the world. It’s not a chore but a cherished honor.
I spoke Sunday about “famous faith.” The podcast didn’t come out too well, but it was centered in 1 Thessalonians 1.8:
The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia—your faith in God has become known everywhere.
I yearn for that kind of faith in our church and from the believers in Poland greater than ever before. Imagine the supreme compliment of being known globally for contagious faith. It’s rather obvious from reading of the situation in Thessalonica in Acts 17 that their church didn’t exactly start ideally. It was birthed amid conflict. Paul and his team were essentially run out of town.
As the beleaguered apostle wrote back to this church, he couldn’t say enough about their stamina and their vociferous faith. I’m tired of playing the quiet game. I don’t know about you and your church or denominational tribe, but for too many of us, we’ve settled with just being present without being presenters.
I ask for your prayers as I continue to internalize and develop some conclusions about how I can gently and graciously lead God’s people in our region to embrace God’s heart for the nations. That missional theme has been a part of our church’s DNA since its inception, but I’m afraid it’s become more of a mantra than a meaningful way of life for us.
I like how Paul began his second letter to the Thessalonians and would covet this same prayer over the church of Jesus Christ everywhere – in Arkansas, Poland and beyond:
Finally, brothers, pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored…