Would you join us in stepping outside your door each morning while declaring this prayer: “God, may your Kingdom come to my neighborhood and may I play an integral part in it’s coming?”
In Acts 1:8, Luke writes:
You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you. And you will be My witnesses, first here in Jerusalem, then beyond to Judea and Samaria, and finally to the farthest places on earth (bold emphasis mine, The Voice Bible).
A mission leader of a church in the USA, who goes to several places in the world to teach on disciplemaking movements, made this vulnerable and revealing statement: “I don’t make any effort to meet my own neighbors, let alone make disciples among them.”
A mission agency leader shared this thought with me, “I don’t share the gospel with my neighbors in the USA; I find it way easier to share the gospel in Africa.”
Once a Bible College student told me she was headed to Cambodia. I asked her, “What do you plan to do?” She responded, spend time with widows and orphans.” I inquired, “Do you have dinner on a regular basis with a widow or take a struggling kid under your wing for mentorship in your own neighborhood?” “No,” she replied. “I don’t take initiative in that way.”
Oswald Chambers gives us this fitting challenge:
We have to take the initiative where we are, not where we are not.
Many churches and Christians from North America break the healthy chronological flow of Acts 1:8. In this case, they go to the ends of the earth as experts and doers in those things that they neglect in their own neighborhoods and networks of relationships at home.
It is a bit ironic. God couldn’t seem to get the disciples out of Jerusalem, hence persecution and God-given miraculous events such as with Peter and Cornelius. Now, American Christians are going to the ends of the earth in droves through short-term endeavors, while completely ignoring their God-given directive to be witnesses to those they rub shoulders with on a daily basis.
Part of living missionally for Jesus’ name sake is living out the Great Commission faithfully, each and everyone of us, in our own neighborhoods. Then out of that obedience, some of us will step out to make disciples in the farthest places on earth.
Again, would you join us in stepping outside your door each morning while declaring this prayer: “God, may your Kingdom come to my neighborhood and may I play an integral part in it’s coming?”
Then keep you eyes open for a neighbor, a widow, or a lonely kid that God will put in your mind or on your path.