The Missional Church
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth. Acts 1:8
Jesus was preparing to go to the Father. Following His resurrection, He appeared to the disciples during 40 days, teaching them further about the Kingdom of God. I imagine these men, going from confusion upon seeing their friend and Lord, to perhaps even getting accustomed to His presence once again among them. They are told by Jesus that they will be baptized with the Holy Spirit; they ponder what that may mean. Jesus tells them: you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.
Jesus’ words are straightforward. They are to wait a bit longer and not to go before they receive power. Then, they are to go forth and tell others about Jesus with a Spirit-enabled power. They are to begin with those closest, in a land familiar, before moving outward. Jesus gives the disciples a mission statement that any corporate America CEO would pay big consulting bucks to develop; it is simple, clear, hope-filled, and attainable. Jesus is the King of Kings. He expects obedience and success from these men who were, just a few days prior, hiding behind a locked door. Utterly afraid. Their fear is smashed in the presence of Jesus and His mission.
One of our church’s strategic emphases is that we will be a MISSIONAL people for the Lord Jesus Christ. We are a people committed to telling others the Good News of the Gospel, available for the whole world, and we will do it beginning with those in closest proximity to us. When we boil the essence of missions down to its core, it requires our individual faithfulness in all sorts of settings, but importantly, where God has placed us today, for His namesake and glory. Not all will go to the end of the earth, but all will be a witness where we live, work, and play. The question before us is this: to what shall we witness?
I am excited to inform you that a team has been working on the “picture” of our church missional emphases for some time now. We have identified the location of our church “missions wall” (just outside the sanctuary) and work has commenced. I asked the team to consider these objectives:
- To simplify the picture of Audubon missions so that our church members can understand and be reminded of our priorities upon entering and exiting the sanctuary.
- To identify the equivalent of Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the end of the earth for our ministry context. Upon completion of the wall, you will be able to “see” our missional priorities, beginning with Audubon Park and moving outward. On the wall you will be able to read about our intentionality at Lifehouse / BsideU for Life, Peru, and unreached people groups.
- To align and communicate our missional priorities in other venues beyond the wall. You will begin reading missional happenings in future newsletters, as well as experiencing enhanced missions’ focus on select Wednesday evenings. Each touchpoint is intended to foster awareness and participation among church members within our Audubon missional initiatives.
We expect our “missions wall” to be completed within several months. God has richly blessed Audubon Baptist Church, most significantly, because we have come to know His Son. Let us endeavor together to make His great name known, from our sanctuary to the end of the earth. He is worthy.
Blessings, Pastor Jeff