Missional Life Reimagined
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“Build houses and settle down. . . . Pray to the Lord for (the city), because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” (Jeremiah 29:5–7 NIV)
One of the highlights of Triennial 2021 was the walkabout videos recorded by local pastors, international missionaries, and others within the NAB family. Each of these videos featured individuals and groups sharing stories of God at work in their ministry and city, often as they walked around the very neighborhoods they were talking about.
All of the people featured in the walkabout videos – and the countless other similar leaders and churches within the NAB – are taking seriously God’s invitation to be a people on mission in our local context. Would you consider giving to the Ministry Resource Fund to help support these missional efforts? Your generosity allows for pastors, leaders, and missionaries all across the NAB to be supported through training, resources, and assistance created speciﬁcally to foster this kind of Kingdom impact in our local communities.
Like God commanded the Israelites in Jeremiah 29:5–7 during their captivity in Babylon, many leaders within the NAB are actively seeking the prosperity of their city. The ways they do this are as diverse as the individuals who form the body of Christ.
Hope Community Church in Sterling Heights, Michigan, led by George Johnson, has partnered with a number of other churches in town through basketball programs, tutoring, discipleship, and a number of other missional endeavors. “We are praying at Hope Church that we will become the disciple-making church God has commissioned us to be – and gifted us to be uniquely in these days,” George said.
Ed McCarthy from Pittsford Community Church in Pittsford, New York, started a cycling club that continues to grow, leading to many opportunities to help others with needs, develop relationships, and even pray together. He’s also been able to talk about faith with people he otherwise never would have connected with.
Under direction of pastor Jacob John, Acts 29 in Vancouver, British Columbia, has restructured the way they see themselves. Rather than a group who gather on Sundays, they see themselves as small clusters of people sent as missionaries into neighborhoods who then gather on Sundays to celebrate what God is doing during the week. Life in the neighborhood during the week has become the focal point.
When Kene Panas began pastoring at Coastal Community Fellowship in Fountain Valley, California, he intentionally moved his family into the apartment complex across the street from the church. For the past nine years, they have sought to practice the same proximity to people Jesus did, and the result has been a deep connection to the community through tutoring, Christmas and Thanksgiving events, and back to school giveaways. Kene even had the opportunity to support the grieving father of a resident who died; the father subsequently recommitted himself to God.
Bob Bauman, pastor of Eastwood Christian Fellowship in Kitchener, Ontario, spent months during the COVID pandemic landscaping his front lawn to include a park-sized picnic table. His family has taken to sitting there to read or hang out, usually with snacks and drinks at hand, and they invite every neighbor passing by to join them. Many of them do just that. Bob said it’s revolutionized his awareness of God’s mission and his understanding of hospitality.
As God continues to reshape the ways we see ourselves as his people – learning what it means to be sent by Jesus, shaped into his image, and serving as agents of his redemptive mission in neighborhoods, locally and globally – many leaders and churches are catching on to what the Holy Spirit is doing among us. And standing right there next to them is the NAB International Ofﬁce, ready and available to supply coaching, training, resources, and support, much of which is provided through the Ministry Resource Fund. Would you give $50, $100, $500, or more to the Ministry Resource Fund to help support missional training to NAB leaders in all walks of life? Your gift will also help support a host of other ministry needs.