Reaching The Community
Reaching the City
By Phil & Lou Walleck
Jeremiah 29:11 reads, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” We love God’s heart for his people in this verse. It is clear he cares so deeply for us. For our family. For our future.
If we read the context leading up to verse 11, we will soon discover the magnitude of trust God was asking his people to have in him. God stripped away the comforts of the Israelites past when he exiled them away from the promised land because of their disobedience. What he spoke though Jeremiah was a call for his people to trust him with their possessions, family, future, and legacy despite being in exile. The Israelites were to serve and prosper the city where they were and trust God with their future.
SO HOW CAN WE TRUST GOD WITH OUR FUTURE?
We believe it is by serving and prospering the city where we are... or wherever we are. We have found that this is best accomplished by proclaiming the gospel, living in community, and being on mission.
The gospel transforms our lives personally and affects every relationship we have. We attempt to mention Jesus, our church, and something spiritual in every conversation. We may not accomplish this goal every day but it is the goal nonetheless.
When we are out and about (before, during, and after the quarantine), we have on our radar that every person represents an opportunity—for life change, restoration, salvation, and friendship. We have no idea what opportunity we are missing by not engaging with the people God puts before us.
The community we keep makes a difference in how we see and relate to the world and one another. We have to continuously surround ourselves with a community who is for our spiritual growth and for the spiritual well-being of the city God has placed us in. We need relationships founded on what God has done, is doing, and will do for us and each other.
Being about a Jesus-centric, kingdom-minded community is about living in relationships that can spur us on toward holiness and the advancement of his kingdom in our city. He places us in these relationships for our own benefit and for the benefit of others. When we are thriving and connected to a loving gospel-centered community, we are freed up to serve those around us.
The mission we are on is less about going on mission and more about being on mission. The embrace of living as one called and sent is liberating. We don’t have to worry about missing out on the last mission trip, we are on mission every moment of every day.
Every person who receives salvation from Christ is immediately sent. From that moment on, the totality of life is about going. It doesn’t matter where we are from or where we currently live—we are sent, so we live sent.