Bom dia! That’s good day in Portuguese.
As I write this I am sitting in the very heart of São Paulo Brazil. Next to Cape Town it’s like a second home to me. I have been traveling to this country and specifically to two different cities, São Paulo, the church there is called “Station 337” (Titus 3:3-7) and Belo Horizonte, “180 degrees”, for 11 years now. This is my ninth trip. You may be asking yourself why so many times to the same place?
In 1995 I travelled overseas for the very first time. I went to Taiwan and Hong Kong on an outreach with my church. I decided then, that if I travelled, it would be where God wanted me and that my travels would be purposeful in God. I have realized that it’s all about the people when you go, it’s the people and the relationship we have with them that keeps drawing us back again and again. I stand in the middle of this huge city, the 3rd largest in the world, 26 million people, and know it’s not the city that I love, it’s her people in the church that have captured my heart. They are warm, friendly, loud, excitable, passionate, emotional, patriotic, hard working, and love Jesus. This, draws me back again and again. No mater how far away I am from here, a piece of my heart remains.
The desire of these churches is to build healthy New Testament churches. So we come back again and again to lend a hand wherever we can, to run along side them and encourage them to, to help build the house, to just hang out and be friends. Not a day goes by that I am here that I don’t learn something new from these amazing people. They desire to grow and mature in God, they are willing to learn and break the cultural barriers that threaten to so easily hold them back from all God has for then as a people and a nation in God.
Go on an outreach sometime
I would encourage everyone to go on an outreach sometime, whether it be to another local church, another city or town in our nation or overseas somewhere. It opens our eyes to the bigger picture.
It helps to see that people have real needs. Our worlds can become very small; going is a great way to “wake us up” and catapult us into our destinies.
What does the word say about us going? Even thought the word “outreach” doesn’t even appear in the bible it is a good concept and lends meaning to the approach and attitude when sharing the gospel.
We know that GOING is what god wants us to do. In the Great Commission (Matt. 28:18-20), God gave the Church its marching orders: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” (Matthew 28:19 ESV)
Go: Poreuomai, (the Greek word) the main command, shares the force of the imperative command to “make disciples.” We can’t make disciples of all nations without actually going.The heart of outreach is reaching out—by going.
Make disciples. matheteuo (mah thay TYOO oh), the main command, after Christ’s disciples go, they are to “make disciples” of others. Essentially, a disciple is a learner. Our task is to enroll people into the Kingdom.
Evangelize. Euangelizo (you ahn geh LID zo): The word “evangelize” actually is in the Bible, but it’s not translated that way. In Acts, Paul uses the word 15 times. In Acts 5:42, euangelizo is translated, “proclaiming the good news.” It didn’t have to be a proclamation from the pulpit; believers just went everywhere spreading this message (Acts 8:4).
Preach. Kerysso (kay ROO so)comes from the word keryx (KAY roox), meaning a “herald.” These public proclaimers’ voices needed to be loud and clear. The Greeks even held herald contests along with the athletic contests at their great national festivals. The herald’s job was to call soldiers to battle, to summon citizens to the public assembly, and to proclaim the king’s edicts. A herald spoke under the authority of his king; his message was not to be ignored. God’s herald does not preach himself, but Christ Jesus (2 Cor. 4:5). We preach Christ crucified—the power and wisdom of God (1 Cor. 1:23).
So come on, get out there, on our streets, in our suburbs, our cities our country and the countries and cities of the world. Let’s be a witness, someone who is bold and confident in speech to share the truth.
Let us live our lives out there in such a way that people say “These men have been with Jesus.” (Acts 4:13)
“He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. (Mark 16:15 NIV)
For so the Lord has commanded us: ‘I have set you as a light to the Gentiles, That you should be for salvation to the ends of the earth.’ ” (Acts 13:47 NKJV)But when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, you will be filled with power, and you will be witnesses for me in Jerusalem, in all of Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8 ESV)
Once again I am humbled that God would take an ordinary saint like me and give me such an extraordinary life.
So let’s Love God and Love people.