Most of us pastor type people want to see things turn instantaneously, however, that is usually not how it’s done. Change takes time and continually keeping the end in view. Side note: This is why it’s a shame when guys come, stay a couple of years and run to the next bigger or easier gig (sometimes not all their own doing). If you don’t work hard, plow hard, plant liberally, and water continuously, you won’t see long lasting fruit.
It’s always fun to see the church live out the means that help us get to the end, but it is particularly gratifying when you see and hear the up and coming leaders speak of the end and the means naturally as though that’s just the way it is. Not forced. Just simply integrated into the fiber of their being. It’s just what they are. That’s culture at work eating strategy for breakfast. That’s unstoppable. That’s just plain cool.
I had the honor of witnessing that fruit yesterday. Two Three Rivers Church folks were honored at their school yesterday as “Star Student” and “Star Teacher”. The “Star Student” is chosen based on their SAT score and then they choose their most influential teacher as the “Star Teacher”, an award that alluded me for 10 years despite my attempts to bribe students for their choosing of me. Hey, I tried. I still feel like I’m a “Star Teacher”. I’m just funnin’. Not about trying to bribe students. But about being a “Star Teacher”. Those winning teachers are way better than me. They actually won!
Emma Duke earned her award as did Sarah Darville, the “Star Teacher”. Congratulations to them both. These are amazing ladies.
Here is the cool part, when Emma spoke and others spoke about her, Emma talked about engaging her domain with the end of bringing it back under the rule of Jesus. Small words and a small part of the whole, yet massive and mustard seed like stuff. Yeast in dough kind of stuff. Emma, was of course, talking about her vocation and it’s purpose. Mission/Vocation/Glocal/Disciple Making all wrapped up in one.
Most of these speeches are typically about going to college, getting a degree, being a good citizen, glorifying God, etc. Not Emma. Emma spoke about the clear vision for all image bearers who have repented of the rebellion and followed Jesus by faith. Emma cast a vision not just for herself but for her classmates. All of them, if they are followers of Jesus can have a glocal vocation that engages a particular domain and spend their lives working to wrangle that thing back under the rule of Jesus as they make disciples globally in the public square.
This vision that Emma clearly carries allows:
- The church to recapture the Great Commission as given to all in the church not just a special few. “Every Christian is either a missionary or an imposter.” – C.H. Spurgeon
- Everyone to see their vocation (calling) redemptively and not as inferior to “missionary” or “pastor” or “minister” spiritually. I would argue “missioanry”, “pastor” and “minister” would be more effective if they actually engaged a domain rather than viewing church work as their primary work, and they would have a global audience. The church is not a domain. It should grow out of the domains as the domains are engaged by Jesus’ followers in each domain. We say, “every disciple as church planter.” But that’s another talk and blog.
- For greater mobilization of the church to the nations. Currently our tribe is having to bring home a great many global workers due to funding issues. Imagine if those workers were domain engagers who were getting paid to be there through their vocation while doing the task of the Great Commission in the public square. There would be NO funding issue, and they would have greater access to the public dialogue.
Emma and Sarah are TRC products. They get the vision and see it clearly. They live it. It was fun to stand in the back and watch two super deserving ladies who are Proverbs 31 to the core be honored for their work and to hear them talk the language of the Kingdom we try to implant through the Word, not the simple “Christianese” that can be so typical.
Big “ups” to you Emma and Sarah! You make TRC proud and, more importantly, you are ambassadors of the King and his Kingdom and do Him proud.