Let me make something very clear-- we feel that we only know a fraction of what is to come in this next season of our ministry. We have a deep sense that the Lord is about to change us forever. That said, in our recent trip, we got a small glimpse into what we will be doing.
Here are a few characteristics of the ministry that our family will be doing in Cape Town. Each are particularly different from what we have been used to here.
- Active. The great commission says GO! Jesus SENT disciples out to be people of peace and grace carrying the gospel to those in need. Tricia and I have done church where "they come" for our whole lives. Now, we are about to do church "we go"! Literally. Each day, we will go to the neighborhood that the Lord has called us to and GO! Walk, talk, meet, greet, play, love, eat, share, minister and be carriers of Jesus. It will be active, not passive. Yeah, I know it sounds odd. But, this alone will rock you and stretch you. It did us in 2 days.
- Holistic. We will enter the neighborhood God is calling us into with a holistic approach. Meaning, that we aim to love people totally. This will look different for everyone. Some will need shoes. Others food. Others a roof. Others counsel. Others to cry. Others to play. Others to be heard. Others to be hugged. Others to be given water. Others to need a ride. Ministering holistically means that you start wherever people let you in....and you pray that the Spirit of God makes them hungry for more. Then, you give them the reason for the hope that lies within you. Jesus! For some this will take a day. Others a week. Others a month. Others a year. Others longer. You wait. You love. You believe.
- Specific. The teams at all nations (we will serve on ONE) are about 5-20 in size and are each sent into ONE township (maybe 1,000-40,000 people). And that team is a church. They are sent and called out ones into that town. They love that town! Pray for it daily, fast for it, yearn for it, walk in it, and believe God for it. That is their ministry as a team or "church." They meet to pray, study, disciple each other, play, eat and build relationships (sound like Acts 2?). But their hearts and lives are dedicated to THAT TOWN! It is specific. And they carry the transforming gospel to everyone that will open their hearts in that town. We will go from street to sidewalk to yard to threshold to living room. I have never been a part of a church that loved a single community with their hands, money and hearts...full time called ones into a single neighborhood for the sake of the gospel. This will be too cool! And life-changing.
This is a start. But just there three characteristics alone have the potential to change the way that Tricia and I live, lead and do church for the rest of our lives. And we are not even there yet. This is going to be crazy.
(In the above picture, the guy on the left just surrendered to Jesus 2 weeks ago and the guy in the middle is discipling him.)