Jesus’ Walkabout Ministry
Yeshua met His first followers crossing a river. His first miracle was at a wedding. Three times a year, He walked from His home in the Galilee to Jerusalem. Wherever He was going, what ever He was doing, Jesus sought out people He did not know and made them family. Always on the move, Jesus continually cared for others, healed the sick, and fed the hungry.
Recently, I was at a Starbucks preparing for some meetings. At an adjacent table, two men were deep in animated conversation. I couldn’t help overhearing what they were discussing, and I wasn’t alone. Out in the public, the older man was making Jesus known by teaching the Scriptures to the younger man while training him to do ministry in public. It worked! People at the other tables were watching and listening, just like I was.
It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher. – Matthew 10:25, Luke 6:40
Knowledge is essential. Teachers are indispensable. But there is a vast chasm between knowing something and putting it into action. If ever there was a time when action is required, it is now. Because of COVID-19 the Church has been forced to leave the building. The status quo for how most people “do church” has been changed, likely forever. I, for one, am very excited about what COVID-19 has put in place to move Jesus’ disciples to action.
This isn’t rocket science. All that is required is a little common sense and some courage. Here are some ideas.
- In a recent post, we suggested making a map of your neighborhood showing the houses of your immediate neighbors. The purpose was to provide a mechanism by which you could regularly pray for them by name. Since that post, I have discovered an app that provides you with a map, the names of your neighbors, and a daily prayer you can offer on their behalf. After registering at Bless Every Home, you will receive a daily reminder to pray for specific neighbors by name.
- As you pray for your neighbors, live intentionally in your neighborhood. Take walks and talk to the people you see. Just be friendly! Introduce yourself to people who engage. Identify your home, where you live. If you have prayed for them, tell them. Ask if they have any specific things they would like for you to pray about.
- Invite your neighbors to your home for coffee, dessert, or even a meal. If you are not yet comfortable with having people in your home, sit outside on your back porch or in your front yard. Display Jesus in you!
- Don’t ask your neighbors if they know Jesus. Show them that you do! Read the Gospels. Read Acts 2. Over time, initiate spiritual conversations as God opens doors. Let the Lord lead you as you begin to do His ministry by wandering around. Needs will become evident. Your trustworthiness will become apparent. As you skillfully meet the needs of people around you, opportunities for Kingdom conversations will present themselves. “Organic” is the watchword. Let things happen naturally.
- Stop waiting to go back to “church in a box.” The lost, lonely, frightened, and needy are waiting for you right where you are. For years they may have watched you get in your car on Sunday morning and drive away. Maybe they wondered “why?” COVID-19 has presented the Church with open doors of opportunity. Stop waiting, Start walking.