Our church is working diligently to fulfill Christ’s command to go and make disciples of all nations. We have a missions strategy that focuses on three specific regions (local, national & international) and which operates under two guiding principles. First, we are committed to pushing back lostness. This means that as we look to develop specific partnerships in all three levels of missions, we will do so with areas of greatness lostness in mind. We look to passages such as Romans 15:20 to guide our thinking here. Secondly, however, we are committed to making disciples and not simply making converts. While this seems simplistic, it radically shapes our missions philosophy. First it means that we no longer engage in what I like to call shotgun missions. Rather than a large number of short-term trips all over the world, we are instead focusing on less areas of the world but we are committed to long partnerships which employ numerous trips over extended periods of time to insure that we are not simply engaging in “hit and run” evangelism but that we are sharing the Gospel and then following up with discipleship, leadership training, etc.
These two principles have cuased us to be very intentional as we attempt to establish 1-3 partnerships in each area (local, national & international) that we believe God has called us to. Locally we are working together with our Hispanic Campus launch, StJoeServe and our annual NASCAR outreach. Each of these are strategic efforts on our part to reach our local community.
Nationally we are partnering with two churches in the Madison, Wisconsin area. We are working alongsideCampus Community Church, right of the campus of UW Madison, and we will soon be working with Church on Prairie’s Edge just outside of Madison, in Middleton, Wisconsin. The city of Madison is one of the most radically unreached cities in America and we are excited about working there.
Internationally we have been working with the Domari Gypsies and this coming Saturday I will be leaving, along with two men from our church, to pursue our newest partnership among the Quiche people of Guatemala. We are looking at becoming a Strategy Coordinator church for the city of Santa Cruz del Quiche. We are very excited about this trip and we are really serious about finding ways that we can engage the Quiche people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
For me personally this is an exciting trip in that I haven’t been out of the country since we came back from West Africa in late 2002. I’m very much looking forward to our scouting trip into the heart of Guatemala. I hope you would pray for Jim, Sean and me as we leave Saturday morning. Please pray even harder, however, for our families who will be staying here by themselves.