• Our hope-filled future is bound up in sharing the story of Jesus, in discipling others, in bringing those disciples together into communities of believers, and in developing and releasing those believers to create other communities... till Jesus the King comes again!

He was here first

I read an interesting article in the French evangelical journal, Théologie Evangélique, this past week.  The article presented the ministry of David Bogue who was the impetus behind a missionary training centre in the UK in the late 18th century.  Though he never served as a cross cultural worker, he was instrumental in the preparation and sending of numerous workers to many parts of the then known world.god_is_here

What particularly caught my attention was the fact that several workers from this school either came from Europe or left to serve as workers in Europe once their training was completed.  I have often looked upon Europe or other parts of the world as somewhat ‘untouched’ by the Gospel.  However, God has been ‘working this soil’ for quite some time.

He was already here building His Church in Europe (and elsewhere) long before we arrived in the late 80s.

Two takeaways come quickly to mind.  First, we should see our work in the larger context of His work, of His mission.  Doing so, will allow us to recognize that the success or fruit in our ministry does not ultimately depend on us.  Second, we need to read more history.  I was stunned by the fact that this British pastor, with limited resources, had a vision so much larger than many today, and saw the fulfillment of that vision.  To think that France, for one, was already being touched by the Gospel efforts of one man in the late 18th century should  encourage many of us in the further work of sowing now in the 21st century.

No matter where we are in the world, God was there before we ever got there.  He is still seeking out people.  The amazing truth is that He chooses to use us as part of the means to accomplish His missionary purpose.


2 Responses

  1. I just returned from our Home Ministry Assignment, where I was speaking in many churches. Reading this entry reminded me of something God had been instructing me in during home assignments; namely, that God is actively at work in the on-going stories of each supporting church. When I visit and speak, I ask God to lead me to specifically contribute to the central thrust of His work in that church. My voice is only one of many that will shape and influence the life of that community. God is the one who causes all things to work together for the good of His people. This too gives me the confidence that I have a role to play in God’s larger work in the world.

    • I liked the way you expanded the application of this idea to other “partners” we serve with around the world, in this case, those supporting churches who are committed to ministry to the unreached.

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