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Is God Calling You to Go?

Posted by Pastor J.D. on November 1, 2016
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I have long believed that the next wave of missions will be carried forward on the wings of business. That’s why, a little over a year ago, the Summit launched our Global Cities Initiative (GCI). The GCI is a new effort to mobilize students, professionals, and retirees to join with long-term missionary teams to make disciples and plant churches in global cities around the world—in Mumbai, London, Shanghai, Kuala Lumpur, and the Middle East. It’s an opportunity to take what you’re already doing, and to do it somewhere strategic for the mission of God.

God’s calling into mission is not a separate call we receive years after our salvation. It’s not something for a select few “missionaries,” leaving the rest of us “normal” Christians on the sidelines. God’s call to mission is inherent in the very call to salvation. “Follow me,” Jesus said, “And I will make you fishers of men.” As we often say at the Summit, the question is no longer if you’re called. It’s only a matter of where and how.

Summit, many of you are already leading the way. We have 20 new people who have already moved (or are in the process of moving) their careers overseas in the next couple years. And another 75 people are considering joining in. That’s nearly 100 new missionaries, going to unreached parts of the world, and they don’t cost the church or the IMB another dime to send.

Here are just a few examples of Summit members currently joining the Global Cities Initiative:

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Five Reflections from My Time Overseas

Posted by Pastor J.D. on September 5, 2016
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As many of you know, I spent seven weeks of this summer overseas on an extended mission trip. The elders of the Summit sent my family and me to go live with some of our church planters—first in South Africa, and then in Central Asia. Our goal, in the short run, was for our family to lift up the arms of our missionaries. Our goal, in the long run, was to refresh and renew my passion for missions, which would, in turn, catalyze the Summit to reach our goal of planting 1,000 churches in our generation. We want the Greear family to be an example of how all of the Summit should be partnering with our missionaries.

If you’re at the Summit, you’ll be sure to hear stories about this trip in the weeks (months? years?) to come. But by way of initial reflection, I wanted to share a few of my initial thoughts about the trip.

1. It was a time of active rest.

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Early in my pastorate, a well-meaning pastor told me that we should not think that much about sending during our first ten years; we should focus on building up our church locally. I know he meant well, but I have come to see this as very bad advice. Inherent in the call to follow Jesus is a call to follow him in his mission, both to our neighbors and to the nations.

In The Mission of GodChristopher Wright points out that God’s promise to use Abraham and his descendants to bless the nations rushes like a river through every chapter of the Bible. Scripture, he says, is not just a collection of theological truths to learn and moral lessons to master and then regurgitate on a final exam. Scripture is an announcement about a rescue mission God has come on for us, and an invitation to join that rescue mission (2 Cor. 5:14–20).

God formed the church for mission, Wright says. He didn’t come up with a mission for his church as much as he formed a church for his mission. Thus, to separate any teaching of Scripture from its context of global mission is to misinterpret it. In other words, you can’t teach any text of Scripture properly if you don’t teach missions out of it. Any ministry that is not formed in light of the Great Commission is off from the start. That’s why I say my pastor friend was so wrong. Because if a church is not engaging in mission, it really has no point in existing.

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