Back to Reach | Devotion #5: Step Four
Noble Baird | Community Center Director
As a church, we have made it our mission statement and vision to Reach, Gather, and Grow. The cycle does not stop at Grow; we go right back to Reach. For many, they will hear this vision and think it is simply a three-step process. Once we work our way through Gather and finally start to Grow, some feel they have arrived. However, the most important part is going back to Reach! Matthew 28:19-20 is the foundational passage of all we do as a church, and it is where we find this concept of “Reach, Gather, and Grow.” This passage is often referred to as the Great Commission, and it was some of Christ’s final words before He ascended to Heaven. However, the story does not end there.
In Acts chapter 1, Luke records Christ’s call to all those who are gathered around Him and call themselves followers of Christ. Starting in verses 6-8 Luke writes, “So when they had come together, they asked him, ‘Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?’ He said to them, ‘It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.’” Here, Jesus is giving us, His followers, the call and charge to go back and reach into all the world. He came and reached out. He gathered together with His disciples and followers constantly and helped them grow in their walk and faith. Then, just before He leaves, He gives the command to go right back and reach out just as we have all been reached at one point.
I love how Jesus gives the charge, “You will be my witnesses.” Wow, how awesome and powerful is it to think how our Savior has chosen us to be the ones to proclaim and stand for Him! Reaching out can be tough at times and even scary; however, if we take a look back at our life and our story of redemption in Christ, at some point, someone reached out to you and me. So, I want to challenge you not to simply stop and be satisfied with your Growth Communities and small groups. Do not just simply check off the gathering box every weekend. No, I challenge you to remember the call that Jesus gave us in Acts 1:8, truly going back to reach and being a witness for our amazing Savior!