Last week our church tried something new.
We have always been a “missional” church. We are dedicated to evangelism and discipleship both here in our college town and overseas. For years, we have had special partnerships with churches overseas in countries like Nigeria, Italy, and Mexico, and we send teams each year to those partners. (Shameless plug for the Italy mission trip! It will change your life!)
We usually talk about the trips in spaced-out spurts: Mexico one week, Nigeria another week.
Not this year.
This year, our leaders decided to streamline, focus, and intensify by creating Global Week: a seven day period of teachings, prayer, worship and information about Jesus’ Great Commission. We had a free missions conference by The Traveling Team, a half-night of prayer, info lunches about each mission trip—the works.
To be honest, I was nervous about last week. I was afraid that all this talk of missions would rip the band-aid off the old, unmet desire to go to the ends of the earth. That it would poke the wound raw, stir up the discontent I had almost ignored.
Here is my old pattern:
1) I see a need.
2) It’s huge.
3) My heart breaks.
4) I jump to the rescue.
And just to clarify,“Rescue” usually involves prayer, tears, and an intense desire to sell my car and hop on a plane. In the end, I feel frustrated because I’m here, not there.
Like I said, this is the old pattern.
On that Sunday as the last session by The Traveling Team ended and we folded our chairs to leave, I realized that something was missing. The heart-wrenching, hopeless, urgent feeling was gone. In its place was a quiet, growing excitement to be so stratigically placed.
I remembered with a jolt that almost every hero of the Traveling Team’s stories was a man or woman whose most meaningful work was the mobilization of students. They were willing to go themselves, but humble enough to realize that God’s glory is often more magnified through community than through a single man or woman’s zeal. It made me feel honored—not displaced—to be living here among college students.
He has placed me here. Until he reassigns me, I will be faithful in this place, with these students, with these kids and the kids on our street. At this moment, I simply feel content to pray, trusting that God will tell me the next step.