The Great Commissioning

space shuttle launching

In just four days our team will load up on a bus and hit the road for Detroit.

Yesterday, on this Father’s Day morning, our Calvary family prayed over us. They prayed for our safety as we travel, as we step away from the comfortable confines of Stephens County.

They prayed for our smooth navigation and safe arrival and return. They prayed that we would serve well the people with whom we come in contact. They prayed that we would grow and stretch and put the gospel of grace into action. They prayed that we would go and serve and make a difference. They prayed that Jesus would shine through us.

They prayed that we would grow and that the kingdom of God would be grown through us.

As the various individuals that had come to put their hand on a shoulder and pray for one or for each returned to their seats, the chairman of our missions committee asked us all to come and stand across the front of the worship center. He asked each of us to identify ourselves and state our purpose. As we went down the line, the deepening awareness rocked us… we are missionaries. We are being sent by our Calvary family to a distant city for the purpose of witnessing of the gospel of grace in word and in deed.

I’ve heard many sermons about the great commission (Matthew 28:19-20) that was given to the disciples of Jesus just as he was about to ascend into heaven. Whether we interpret the text, “as you are going” or “going out” or whatever variation we may find, it seems clear that, as we walk through our days in the place in which we have been planted, we surely are to make disciples. But it also seems clear by experience that often we need to go someplace different and do something different in order to stretch out of the comfort zone of the familiar.

In this particular case, we go to help a young church plant take off and flourish by providing a mobile, working, visible witness in their community. We go to make a wave of awareness that we hope will energize and enthuse and embolden that young church. As the organizers of this effort have so well expressed it, we go to give some rocket fuel to a new church.

In our empowering prayer time yesterday, the Spirit stirred up in my mind those resonant words:

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Matthew 28.19-20

As our faith family held us up to God in prayer, they have surely sent us forth to the great work ahead.

Truly it was our Great Commissioning.

Will you pray with us that we may love in Jesus’ name in the city of Detroit?

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