Monthly Archives: September 2015

Be Church

It’s been almost 4 years since we obeyed the voice of God to uproot our family & transplant ourselves into African soil. It took well over $20,000 to get us here, over 4 years of praying & preparing, 4 languages learned, families kissed goodbye, & tears—oh the tears—I thought would never end.

I had my mind made up about what exactly I’d do for the Lord in this strange & foreign land. We would tell every woman, man, child we saw about the Gospel & give them all of 16 seconds to decide if they wanted to follow Jesus or not. We’d baptize them. We’d plug them into a church or help them to start a new one. We’d disciple them. We’d train them in how they could do the same thing as us, but better, and make Jesus really proud of them.

But really I had no idea. What kind of person could be so sure of their calling yet have no clue? {Pick me!}

None of the tasks I listed above could be considered disobedience, so they don’t sound that bad. That’s because they don’t and they aren’t. But these components unto themselves aren’t the things that reflecting the relationship Christ has with church are made of.

Echelon is a team made up of different families. We committed to the Lord & to each other that we would live & move & breathe together—as the church. That no man or family would be left to operate alone. But just because we came to Africa as the church doesn’t mean that we remain a healthy one. And just because we use Christ as our model and are sent out in twos, doesn’t mean that we’re all done with obedience. It takes time & energy, blood, sweat, & tears to maintain our church. We have to be intentional as the church. We have to fight to remain a church that is pursuing Christ & showing honor to one another. As you can imagine, this requires a good portion of our day.

But are we too busy taking care of ourselves to be gospel sowers to those who’ve never heard? What about all those 1000s of dollars spent to send us to only tell lost people about Jesus’ life, death, burial, & resurrection—and our eternal hope of heaven? Do we stop ministering to the needs of the nationals around us while we shut down in order to keep our own junk together? An emphatic NO. But how? How do we keep up with both—maintaining a healthy church while trying to start new ones?

It’s because we don’t separate the two. We live AS the church & this attracts people TO the church. We ARE the church in order to GROW the church. We live life as Christ called us to—taking care not only of our own needs, but meeting the ones of those around us—and this gives us the open door to make disciples of all nations… to baptize them & teach them to obey the one true God.

We came as the church. We live as the church. And so we welcome those who were far from God into the church.