The Navigators Calling (mission) statement describes the outcome of our ministry as “spiritual generations of laborers (people doing God’s work in this world) living and discipling among the lost.”
We all are products of a lost and broken world. Apart from someone bringing the Good News of Jesus to a family member or to us personally, we would still be living without the hope of Christ. Yet, someone stayed close and showed us that hope and it allowed us to see and hear the Good News—to be wooed into a relationship with God, through Jesus! What a gift of grace! Thank you Lord Jesus for that person!
Throughout history, I see two unnecessary tendencies in the Body of Christ when the world around us begins to get scary and acts out in ways that make us uncomfortable:
- Some begin to polarize, scream out of frustration, and point fingers at the broken world—pointing out the sin and making sure that others know we think they are wrong.
- Some pull back, disengaging to choose safety over God’s desire for us to be salt.
My comments are not meant to critique the individual decisions we each must make, but we each must assess why we make the choices we make.
Both of these tendencies are understandable, as are the emotions (fear, anger, frustration) that motivate them. However, God’s call on our lives is not to become mean-spirited and angry, nor is it for us to attempt to live safe lives!
To change the culture, God has called each of us to live in the world, but not to be of it.
Jesus is the model of our ministry and faith. It’s interesting to note that the people He got most upset and angry with were the religious people—those who are not of the world, but lived in ways similar to what I’ve described above. To those who were far from God, Jesus lived with compassion for them. Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” And, Jesus, God Himself, left the safety of heaven, made Himself vulnerable, and made His home, for a time, in the sin-filled squalor of planet Earth. The apostle John put it this way (in the New Living Translation), “So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son” (John 1:14).
What keeps you from being a culture-changer and living and discipling among those who are far from God—those needing the love of Christ?