This will be a yearlong series of writings explaining the philosophy of missions at Evergreen SGV. This philosophy was developed over the years and is still developing and maturing. It is basically the journey God has taken me on through the years.
It begins with three basic axioms of our church family.
Axiom #1: “Loving God, Loving Others”
In Matthew 22:35-40, Jesus responded to a question from a lawyer. The lawyer asked “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”
Jesus answered him by saying, “’You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and foremost commandment.’ The second is like it, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.’"
Jesus commanded us to do two things. First, we should love God totally and without qualifications. Secondly, we should love others as we love ourselves. Life is all about loving God and loving others.
If this is what we are to be about as Christ followers, then it stands to reason that missions should also be all about loving God and loving others.
According to author Tyler Edwards every church should have a ‘Love-Radius’. He wrote that “Bombs have what's called a ‘blast-radius’, defined as the distance from the source that will be affected when an explosion occurs. Churches should have love-radiuses – anyone within twenty miles of a church should know it and be positively affected by the church's love.”*
I think we would do well to expand our radius from twenty miles to the remotest parts of the earth… that’s missions.
Jesus, Himself, said, “…you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth."
I love what Tyler Edwards wrote about the ‘Love-Radius’. Let’s just take it to the next mile… and the next… and the next… loving God and loving others wherever the Spirit of God leads us.
Something to think about…
* Adapted from Tyler Edwards, Zombie Church (Kregel Publishes, 2011), page 59.