March 3, 2017 marks TRC’s 14th birthday. So, happy birthday TRC!
It’s been a very fast 14 years.
It’s been a very rewarding 14 years.
It’s been a hard 14 years in some ways.
However, the quick, rewarding and hard times have produced a few lessons that I’d like to share with you. These lessons are observations gleaned from our glocal engagement (yes, glocal, and not a strange term to TRC folk and Release folk).
Here they are:
Live in the moment with biblical wisdom and with the Holy Spirit.
This is a direct quote from Bob Roberts via text when asking him about a situation I found myself in and needed some help. In fact, I’ve found myself in these kinds of situations local and global. I’m so thankful to be able to reach out to Bob and get wise counsel. Once, he left me a 20 minute voicemail on explaining the Trinity to some Muslim friends. Bob has taught me to live in the moment trusting in the Spirit to lead and bring biblical wisdom to bear in the moment. Luke 21:14-15 is real. Go read it.
Those new to the faith are thankful for Scripture and don’t seem to take it for granted like many of us who live in a context where the bible is so available.
New believers in pioneering kingdom work love Scripture and hold it dear and commit it to memory out of necessity for life. I need to be more like that.
Childlike, dependent, obedient and passionate faith in Jesus is superior to great intellectual learning and the loftiest apologetic.
I’ve yet to see a person whose faith is childlike be cast into doubt and confusion as quickly as a person of great learning. The poor are rich in faith, James said. Poor in spirit. Poor in knowledge. Poor in economics. Rich faith is better than a fat wallet or fat brain.
Learning to obey Scripture is more vital than simply learning what Scripture says.
Many of us know what Scripture says, and if we don’t, we are without excuse. But learning to obey…well, that just may tax me a little more than knowing what is said. Obedience is a key to a rich faith.
It’s better to make disciples and work through the mess it creates than to debate whether the mess is right or wrong.
We like to debate about things we hear going on in the heat of a battle regarding whether it is right or wrong. This is not fair to those having to encounter such difficulties as they are happening. They don’t get the opportunity to figure out a scholarly answer when being looked in the eyes by a desperate person needing help. They have to depend on Scripture (so they better know it), wisdom and Spirit led thinking.
We want to debate what they do. That’s like being a Monday morning quarterback. Like we could play QB in the NFL or D1 college football in the first place.
Example: What would you tell a believer from a Muslim background who had two wives before they believed the gospel to now do with their wives? That’s a real situation. Do you know the passage that will speak to that explicitly? How do you handle their soul? What do you do?
Make disciples then work through the mess with bible in hand and Spirit leading the way.
The bible becomes much more applicable on the front lines of the kingdom glocally than when we try to apply it at the resort during the super bowl.
I’ve discovered that God inspired the bible as his revelation of who he is and what he demands and what he is doing in his kingdom as much more usable in the fight than it is in peacetime.
Don’t misunderstand. That does not mean that the bible is not applicable at all times. It is. It’s just exceptionally applicable on the front lines. And we are all commanded to be on the front lines. See Matthew 28:16-20.
Domain engagement is a massive paradigm shift from the current model of funding the organization to send the single operators to do great commission work. Domain engagement is all believers everywhere all the time.
We are living in the midst of a shift in methodology of doing the great commission. Organizations are discovering that the economics and the numbers don’t work for the task at hand.
We, at TRC, talk about every Christian’s glocal engagement of their domain. This makes every Christian a great commission Christian because their vocational domains are local and global (glocal) and they have access and they get paid to do so by their companies and they get to engage in the public square not in the dark corners under cover.
This shift requires us to re-think funding, careers, education and who we partner with.
These are just a few lessons learned in 14 years of ministry in Rome, GA and around the world. Thank you TRC for being fantastic, and for being an a bunch of radical followers of Jesus glocally.