Updates from the Frontline

Last night, I shared a quote in our community group from a book I’m reading entitled Total Church: A Radical Reshaping Around Gospel and Community by Tim Chester and Steve Timmis. ¬†Interesting read about what these guys are doing with The Crowded House network of home churches in the UK.

Here’s the quote that woke me up concerning missions:

“If someone was being sent as a missionary to a hostile context overseas, our attitude would be something like this: We would expect to pray often for them. ¬†We would expect progress in building relationships and sharing the gospel to be slow. ¬†We would be excited by small steps – a gospel conversation here, an opportunity to get to know someone there. ¬†We would thrive on regular updates from the front line. ¬†But the truth is that the lives of many Christians in work, and play, are just like the life of that far-flung missionary! ¬†They are lived out in tough environments where progress is often slow and many factors make evangelism extremely difficult. ¬†The challenge is to make news from the staff canteen as valued as news from the overseas mission field.” ¬†–Total Church, p. 36

It just so happened that yesterday at church, we shared an update from our West Africa missionaries.  Serving on the frontline, the updates were small steps in the way of building relationships and initiating gospel encounters.  We heard of no new converts or mass revival, but their simple progress was encouraging and inspiring.

Yet, we don’t think of ourselves in that way everyday.

Last night, in my community group, I had planned on laying hands on a few of the brothers who were going on mission trips that week.  We huddled up around one guy who was going to serve on a mission trip in Charleston.  We prayed over another as he was getting ready to leave for medical missions for Peru. And we laid hands on another who was having a gospel conversation with one of his co-workers in the coming week.

The locations are very different, but the goal is the same.  The Great Commission knows no boundaries.  No matter where you are geographically this week, methodologically, be a missionary with passion, fervor, and belief that God is up to something big through your life!