There’s nothing better than getting spiritually jazzed when speaking with your board chair person. But I just got off Skype with Ray Sanford and have a few thoughts from our conversation to share with you.
Near Frontiers is a group of bridge-builders, connecting our good news Savior with needy people in the cities where God has placed us. There are areas of American cities where you don’t see banks or grocery stores. Police rarely venture into those neighborhoods. Instead you see potholed streets, boarded up shops, and schools so poor the parents don’t see the value of sending their kids.
Yet there are Jesus followers who move into the fray and represent Him in these places. Ray shared about his adult children, Ray and Mel, who live in West Philly. They invited students from Mel’s university cohort for Thanksgiving, and had Chinese, Indonesians, and an African for dinner.
There is a current in America (in fact globally) that is isolationist. It would pull up the bridge to keep newcomers out. It would send immigrants back “home.” That current will kill churches, and stifle Christian maturity. That is the wrong response to the unprecedented scattering (diaspora) of our time. Jesus said that it is unwise to pay more attention to the weather forecast than to understand the signs of the times. Look at what God is doing among the nations and be amazed at the Great Commission mandate.
The Kingdom of God is going to advance by moving into the fray, not by avoiding it. Christ came for the sick not the healthy. In Near Frontiers we are bridge-builders, but we also call on believers everywhere to join the project and build with us. Don’t miss out on this gloriously messy time.
3 thoughts on “With Jesus into the fray”
Thanks, great article.
I appreciate your encouragement!
Amen! Indeed true and needful that the church arise and take advantage of the diaspora–mission fields in our midst, backyard, across town. Matthew 9:35-38 gives a glimpse of Jesus’ heart as He clearly identifies the problem. Let’s pray for laborers–and perhaps His answer to our prayers will be me, or you.