Our job, is to trust and to bring glory to God in whatever circumstances we find ourselves, but – you know what? – it’s tough. It would be lovely to write that I know that God is going to preserve us all through this crisis, that he will still the coronavirus storm and that we will be unharmed – but I can’t.
One of the problems of being a bloke in his sixties who has been involved in mission work and leadership in various parts of the world is that I’ve seen it all before…
Barnabas took Mark and disappeared from Luke’s narrative, but he entered our future marking the path for those who would be the disciples of Jesus. That path requires trust – sometimes, often times, almost every time – of those who are marked by failure in relationship.
A quote from a commentary on Acts Chapter Two which sums up much of what has driven my whole adult life.
The deepest reality of life in the Spirit depicted in the book of Acts is that the disciples of Jesus rarely, if ever, go where they want to go or to whom they they would want to go.
Because we focus on Paul and on the great names in history we forget the role of the vast majority of missionaries whose names are found in the book of life, if not in church history books.
In other words, Apollos was a converted African Jew, who did further Bible training in Asia and who ministered in Europe. His background and formation were not just international, they were inter-continental. Not only that but Apollos came from outside of the centre of the contemporary mission movement of the time – he wasn’t one of Paul’s companions from Ephesus, he came from the margins.
The church’s mission is our participation (in the power of the Spirit) in the Father’s purpose to reconcile everything to himself through the death of the Son. We do this through making disciples by bearing witness to Jesus in word and deed.
People are forever making claims about doing mission in a biblical way. The problem is that the Bible offers us lots of different examples of how to do mission and some of them are not altogether positive.
In 14 years of blogging, I’ve produced the odd resource that is of lasting value. This post highlights some of them.