Friday, June 03, 2011

Going with the Gospel

This Sunday Night I will give a charge to a local volunteer group going on mission to the highlands of Peru. This is their second trip to this particular place. The group is composed of more than 50! I tried to persuade them to divide their teams and go 4 times in the year. They love one another's company too much for that, I'm afraid. So they have chosen to go once a year, descending upon the small villages of the Quechua peoples where they will work.

I will share 4 adverbs modifying the word "go" with them. It is a description of the Great Commission, as found in Mt. 28:19, 20; and in Acts 1:8.

I will challenge them to go obediently. This is for the entire church's consumption. The Great Commission is not just for some; it's for all of us.

I will tell the group to go expectantly. We have received the power of the Holy Spirit. We must expect him to go with us--even to be there before us--as we share.

I will teach the group to go courageously. In Acts 4 the disciples prayed for the presence of God to enable them to share the word with boldness. When political and religious figures oppose the preachers, fear can set in. They must be courageous in their witness, even if they face opposition.

And I will teach the church to go concurrently. To answer those who say, "Aren't there enough lost people around us, so that we don't need to go over "there?" I will say to them that we must go beyond our walls locally and internationally as we can. There is not a linear, systematic logic to Acts 1:8. It does not say we should be witnesses in "Jerusalem, THEN Judea, THEN Samaria, THEN the uttermost parts of the world." The conjunction is "AND." It conveys a concurrent action.

Most of all I will tell them to go.

And I will tell it to you now: go. Preach the gospel. Just go.