My great delight over the years has been to work with a generation of young, emerging leaders with an apostolic passion, vision and “Spirit” (and I do mean the Holy Spirit – not simply their human spirit!)
I have had the wonderful privilege of helping them identify their gifting, urging them to listen for God’s voice and respond to their calling, and assist them in developing their skills in communicating the gospel and learning how to “make disciples of all nations” in the power of the Holy Spirit. It doesn’t get much better than that!!
As I read an expression of Paul’s passion and vision in Romans 15.20 this morning during my time of “Coffee with the Lord, I thought of many of them. Paul said, “MY AMBITION HAS ALWAYS BEEN TO PREACH THE GOOD NEWS WHERE THE NAME OF CHRIST HAS NEVER BEEN HEARD, RATHER THAN WHERE A CHURCH HAS ALREADY BEEN STARTED BY SOMEONE ELSE.” (New Living Translation)
To serve the Lord in revitalizing and leading an established and existing congregation is a noble task – I’ve done it, believe in it, and applaud those doing it! But I also praise God for those who embrace the “apostolic passion” and expressed preference of Apostle Paul – identifying pockets of unreached people, taking the gospel to them and then making disciples of them. Their spiritual passion and DNA is “the nations!” – the “peoples of the world” (and for the Greek buffs – “ta ethne!”) I am convinced those who do it are helping us prepare for the coming of the Lord!! “AND THIS GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM WILL BE PROCLAIMED THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE WORLD AS A TESTIMONY TO ALL NATIONS, AND THEN THE END WILL COME.” (Matt 24:14 ESV)
So my encouragement to those with an “apostolic passion” like Apostle Paul’s today… Go for it!! Let the Lord give you your passion and vision! Lift up your eyes and look upon the harvest, trust God to give you creative strategies, and go for it in the power and leadership of the Holy Spirit!! He promises to be right there with you!!