Welcome on board! You may be receiving our Seventy-two monthly update for the very first time, as we’ve welcomed a good number of new people resulting from conversations on the Seventy-two stand at Spring Harvest Minehead. Alternatively, you might already be receiving them regularly and be fully committed to being a catalyst towards missional movement across the UK. You’re still welcome and I’m especially grateful to you for standing together with us from the beginning whilst we were struggling to get off the ground.
I wonder what else Jesus said after he’d gathered the seventy-two together, resulting from the mission trip of the twelve in Luke chapter nine (assuming he didn’t simply give them their instructions for the next wave)?
I’ve no doubt, whatever the words used, every single one of the seventy-two knew they were welcome on board.
I’m equally convinced they knew they were on board, together for a purpose. Malcolm Duncan has written a delightful book for this year’s Spring Harvest ‘One for All’ and he summarises it very well: ‘one in Christ, one in the gospel, and one for the sake of the world’. [i]
So am I welcoming you on board, as the recipient of an e-mail update, once a month, or are you signing up for being a catalyst for missional movement across the UK: one in Christ and the gospel for the sake of the world?
One of our difficulties, here in the UK, is we have no living memory of what a missional movement looks like. However, we shall know when we see the number of followers of Jesus being multiplied by disciples making disciples and churches planting churches.
My faith is growing towards seeing this reality here in the UK, not because of a few exceptionally gifted individuals, but because of the growing number of followers of Jesus in our churches who are willing to wholeheartedly trust the word and the spirit of God in their day-to-day living out of the gospel. I’m delighted you want to be on board the growing army of people living in that direction.
In these days of preparation for missional movement, everyone one of us can contribute, as we keep on, keeping on following Jesus … ‘everyone, everywhere, everyday’ could easily be the strap-line for Jesus’ mission in Luke 10:1-12.
One way we encourage everyone, forwards on this great adventure is to keep working around the ‘discipleship cycle’:
Listening … in order to answer the question ‘what is God speaking into my life?’
Looking … in order to answer the question ‘where is God at work?’
Living … in order to answer the question ‘what do I need to do, in order to allow this seed of God’s word to achieve its purpose?’
Learning … in order to answer the question ‘what do I need to learn?’ In biblical terms: ‘how do I embody this in my life’?
Leading … when you go round the cycle, in relation to the same issue, again you’ll be influencing someone else. Leadership is influence.
This month I’d like encourage you to take a look at the challenges the West of England Baptist Association have produced for 50 days of Good News. You can take up these challenges, whether the Church you’re a part of uses them, or not, as they’re all designed for individuals.
If you want to join others in praying for the evangelisation of the UK, join the prayer wave ‘Thy Kingdom Come’.
If your church is not on board, or you’re too far from a gathering, maybe arrange your own?
If you’re involved in any leadership responsibility, now is the time to be praying and planning for 2018, take a look at Hope 2018 to get you started.
If you want to start meeting with others to listen to God’s word, pray for other people to come to know Jesus and make yourself accountable why not start your own DNA group: you may find this DNA Quick Start Guide helpful as you do this.
[i] Duncan, Malcolm One for all. Monarch Books, Oxford. 2017. Page 21