The Gospel Must Go Forth Geographically and Generationally!
Have you ever had a week where afterwards you stepped back and just said, “WOW, God… You are amazing!” Sitting here in my office this morning I’m full of joy at all the Lord is doing and how we are being invited to join Him where He is working.
Let me walk you through the last week…
Tuesday night, Misty enjoyed hosting our church small group in our home. We are part of a team of families that are planting a church in northeast Georgia. Together we are devoting ourselves to the apostles teaching, to fellowship, to breaking bread in our homes, and prayer. It is our prayer that the Lord would work in and through us to see many come to know and follow him locally as we live out our faith in community. Like the early church in Acts, we hope to experience “day by day the Lord adding to their number those who were being saved.”
The following morning, I caught a flight over to Austin, TX where I met with leaders from The Navigators Nations Within team, The Navigators Missional Enterprise team, and leadership of The Austin Center for Faith & Work. Our conversations were focused on how we can better display the Kingdom of God to refugee communities across the US. Education and healthcare have typically remained the focus of efforts made on behalf of our neighbors who are here from other countries. Now, quickly rising to the forefront of conversation is the opportunity we have to serve our neighbor by helping them connect to meaningful employment. What’s happening through Amplio Recruiting is spectacular! Amplio is a staffing agency that helps great companies hire dependable employees from the refugee workforce. Faith-Driven Companies are seeing jobs filled with skilled workers who are eager for meaningful employment. This is all accomplished by an HR team at Amplio who are eager to share the hope that is within them as they love the Lord and love their neighbor. With THE NATIONS literally coming to America it would be worth us considering as a Church how we are intentionally caring for the foreigner living among us.
Thursday, I was able to join several from our team at Steward who attended and spoke at the B4TExpo at Austin Ridge Bible Church. Business for Transformation (B4T) refers to profitable businesses which are strategically placed in unreached areas of the world for Kingdom Impact. Church Leaders, Business Leaders, Mission Leaders, Faith-Driven Entrepreneurs & Investors all gathered at Austin Ridge Bible Church for a multi day conference where we heard from experts on how we can rightly and effectively see the Kingdom of God advance through Business.
- Businesses that create jobs and provide goods and services that are needed and wanted by consumers
- Businesses that pay taxes and stimulate economic growth in frontier and emerging economies
- Businesses that are run by faith-driven entrepreneurs and managers who desire to make the Gospel both SEEN and HEARD
These companies display the gospel through their attitude and their excellence in work, worshiping the Lord through the work of their hands. They display the gospel through the quality of their products, services and their Christ-like care for the employees, customers, and community. These faith-driven founders, allowing the gospel to be SEEN, are also eager for the gospel to be HEARD as they live ready to give testimony to the good news of Jesus Christ.
It’s humbling to be in a room with well over 300 leaders who are engaging the nations through business. The day was full of conversations with men and women who are operating businesses among predominantly Muslim, Hindu, and Buddhist areas of the world. I was inspired by Church leaders who are identifying and sending business men and women from their congregations to the nations. Those being sent are not abandoning their jobs and business skills, but leveraging them for the Glory of God and the good of the unreached.
If that wasn’t enough, Friday morning I left Don and our team in Austin and flew back to Georgia to host the North Georgia Trail Life Camporee. I landed in ATL at lunch and made it back home by mid afternoon to pack the truck and head out to the mountains with my boys. At the Camporee we were joined by 10 Tail Life troops totalling over 160 boys and 120 dads for the weekend! Trail Life USA partners with churches and parents across America as the premier national character development organization for young men which produces generations of godly and responsible husbands, fathers, and citizens. In over 1,100 churches in all 50 states, fathers and sons are connecting, relationships are deepening, and legacies are beginning as a new generation of godly leaders rises up.
For the camporee this year we invited The Wild Brothers (four brothers that run a faith driven business that has been financially backed by faith driven investors) to speak to our group of almost 300 boys and dads. Friday Night we kicked off the camporee with Asher Wild sharing the story of his family growing up in the mountain jungles of Papua Indonesia. Asher shared the amazing adventures he had growing up among the Wano people: an unreached people group without access to the word of God in their language. In a truly amazing way, Asher gave testimony to how God worked through his family to translate the Bible into the Wano language and how the Holy Spirit birthed the Wano Church. Praise God with us for our brothers and sisters in Christ among the growing Wano church that is now multiplying followers of Jesus!
Saturday was PACKED with campfire skills, archery skills, BB gun and sling shot target competitions, fishing, hiking, and even some aviation flying for our older adventurers. After a full day of FUN and ADVENTURE, all the boys and dads gathered around a huge bonfire Saturday evening as Hudson Wild challenged us to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, living on mission for Him. I couldn’t stop praying for each little boy gathered around that campfire, staring up to Hudson, just asking the Lord… “Jesus, let these boys know you and the fullness of your love for them. Let this be a generation of boys who lead courageously and reject passivity. Let these boys accept the responsibility to steward the Gospel to the ends of the earth. Let these boys live with zeal as they steward their lives in light of eternity.”
After a hearty pancake breakfast Sunday morning, Kian Wild wrapped up the weekend with a final challenge to the boys. Shortly after the morning service we packed up, cleaned up and headed home with a heart full of passion and a head full of thoughts of the greatness of the Kingdom of God.
As I try to process all these experiences with my wife, it’s honestly hard to put into words everything that I’ve witnessed the Lord doing. Several years ago Misty and I began to align our lives to the reality that the Gospel must go forth geographically to all peoples, nations, cultures and languages, and the Gospel must be passed down generationally to our children and our children’s children.
For just as the Gospel must go forth geographically, it must also be passed down generationally.
This has become a purpose statement and guiding principle for our family.
- It guides where we spend our time.
- It guides where we give generously.
- It guides where and how we invest intentionally.
As Steward Investors, Misty and I have discovered great joy investing the Lord’s resources into businesses that see the gospel taken to the ends of the earth seeing the Kingdom of God advance geographically. As well, we find great joy investing in faith-driven companies that are stewarding the Gospel to the next generation seeing that our children and our children’s children come to know and love the God we serve.
In an amazing way… over this last week I was able to see this so clearly on display. I was able to see faith-driven businesses taking the gospel to unreached people groups seeing the good news of Jesus Christ go forth geographically. And I was able to see God work through Trail Life and The Wild Brothers, a faith-driven business, as they presented the gospel to the next generation of young men who will Lord willing become the leaders of the Church in the years to come.
What an amazing privilege and opportunity we have as Stewards to join where God is working by investing in faith-driven businesses that see the gospel go forth geographically and generationally! May we have the shared joy of one day hearing “well done, good and faithful servant you have been faithful over little, I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your Master”.