Across the Street and Around the World

The prayer from yesterday reminds us that the gospel is for those that are near and those that are far off. It also prompted us to recall that all those persons were created by God of one blood. Our call is to share the whole gospel with the whole world.

The Mennonites speak of sharing the message of Christ with those that are across the street and around the world. Missional Baptists speak of going "glocal." As our church seeks to be the presence of Christ in our world we recognize that our world begins on 7th street and travels through the nations of the world. What do Trinidad, Tuxedo, and Toomsuba have in common? They are in our world -the world the Christ suffered to save. Let's dream of ways to go glocal with the gospel. Why not start with your circle of influence and move on from there.

to those who are far off and to those who are near...

My cousin Drew is getting married in about a month. I have been asked to help with the wedding at an Episcopal church in Florida. While thumbing through the Book of Common Prayer I ran into a very missional prayer that I would like to ask you to join me in praying.

16. For the Mission of the Church

O God, who hast made of one blood all the peoples of the earth, and didst send thy blessed Son to preach peace to those who are far off and to those who are near: Grant that people everywhere may seek after thee and find thee, bring the nations into thy fold, pour out thy Spirit upon all flesh, and hasten the coming of thy kingdom; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the same Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
Amen. those days of my Spirit

We began a Sunday night message series focused on being the presence of Christ in the world last week. The message was taken from Acts I and focused on Christ centered Priorities. We will gather around Acts 2:14-21 this week. Our focus will be on the importance of Proclamation. Missional churches embrace the message of Jesus and share it. Each member "owns" the responsiblity of proclaiming the saving deeds of Christ. Acts 2 reveals that the early church was made up of unhindered proclaimers - age, gender, and occupation made no difference.

Join us this Sunday night as we continue to focus on being the presence of Christ in the world.


For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, in order to bring you to God. I Peter 3:18 NRSV

I went to the funeral of a godly woman yesterday. Her pastor spoke about her life of faithfulness in a way that made me want to live a faithful life. As I sat listening to his message I thought about a quote from Jonathan Edwards -

Resolved, that I will live so, as I shall wish I had done when I come to die.

The Church's Forward Thrust

In 1967 E. Glenn Hinson wrote some powerful words about personal evangelism. They have retained their punch over the years. See what you think -

As we face a more and more secular era, we must develop a more natural and more personal witness. The plan is simple. First, let us encourage church members to develop natural and mature friendships with those around them - in their neighborhood, on the job, where they shop, and so on. Next, let their personal maturity and Christian commitment make an impression upon those whose friendships they cultivate. Everything, naturally hinges on thier personal maturity and Christian commitment. Then, on the basis of an established confidence, let them secure commitment to Jesus Christ.

This type of witnessing has been the church's major asset through the centuries. Presently we need to refocus it so that it will again bear the major brunt of the church's forward thrust.

Whatever God can do,

I meet with a group of ministers on Thursday to pray. I am encouraged each week as I hear about what God is doing at Pine Grove Baptist, Evangel Temple, Bridge Builders, Church of the Way, and New Wine Ministries. Together we are praying for a genuine move of the Holy Spirit in Meridian, Mississippi.

I was working on a message this afternoon when I ran across a quote that reminded me of these guys and the churches we serve. -

What can a little church with some one hundred people do to affect the world? Whatever God can do, He wants to manifest His purpose and glory through every church. Every church is to be a world missions strategy center.
Avery T. Willis, Jr. and Henry T. Blackaby

Jesus offers a new vision of family...

My friend Mark is a deacon at Truitt Memorial Baptist Church, Pearl. He has been a source of encouragment for me for a good while now. He often sends me books. This week he sent me Shane Claiborne's The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical. In this book Claiborne talks about Jesus' vision of the family. His vision was rooted in the experience of rebirth. This vision has practical implications for missional living. See what you think -

Rebirth is about being adopted into a new family - without borders. With new eyes we can see that our family is both local and global, including but transcending biology, tribe, or nationality...

The reality of our rebirth should mess with us... Consider the hundreds of families who opened their own homes to those suffering from Hurricane Katrina in 2005. People across the country made tremendous sacrifices in order to bring their displaced neighbors into their families, knowing the burden was too big to bear alone. And it got a little lighter as more and more people decided to carry it together.

Missions is about family!
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