If you watch the news, scroll through social media, or just step outside your door, you will feel the gap between the plight of our world and an imagined future. You may also see the division between why these gaps exist, what bridges we need to build, and how we need to do this as a society.
Today, I took some time to unpack these various issues and the variety of solutions that accompany them. Then I deleted what I wrote as I sensed the Spirit saying that more or even better analysis isn’t our need. Instead, since Jesus is God the Son, the creator of everyone, the sustainer of everything, the reconciler who raised us all to live in His resurrected life, then our need is to take what He’s done and declared seriously.
In the sea of chatter around “let's change the world,” it’s easy to forget the world is made up of people, so it only changes when people change. All the politicians, policies, and platforms, although sincere, are sincerely limited because there’s one thing they can’t do: transform a human heart. Sure, politicians can offer plans to try and force better behavior, and platforms, where everyone has a voice, can either persuade you or shame you into a new way of thinking and acting. But when the dust settles from these human efforts, the heart remains unchanged, and thus, the world we call home.
Two thousand years ago, in a place divided by class, race, sex, and religion, Jesus announced: “Behold, the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe this gospel” (Mk 1:14) In Jesus, the rule and reign, the very presence and power of God Himself, is among us all at the table He set before the world. Our only need to awaken to this reality, to dine with the King here and forever, is to “repent,” to change our minds about the myth of a God who is far off and “believe” the good news of a God who is present with everyone everywhere.
Like the audience in Jesus’ day, we have been invited to believe the good news of a present King(dom). And like that audience of old, we have been asked to live into this kingdom reality as we journey in the two things Jesus called us to as guests:
• To love others as we have been loved. Only in Him who made us and reconciled us can we ever find enough healing and strength to love not only our neighbors but our enemies. (Mt 22:37)
• To disciple others to walk with Jesus. Disciples live in Jesus by faith, so they naturally walk in what Jesus is doing in the lives of those around them -- helping them then do the same with others. (Mt 28:19-20)
I believe the world we long for flows from those who’ve found freedom and family at the table Jesus prepared. And I think this happens today, just as is it did in the New Testament Church, through love and discipleship in the hands and around the tables of everyday people.
To see this happen, in a day where conditions are often added to the unconditional message of Jesus’ grace and limitations are attached to the medium for what constitutes Church, we will need to look back to move forward. In doing so, the expectations that have brought complexity to the mission of love and discipleship fall away, allowing the gospel to spread and the Church to form among the many who are outside and uninterested.
As a network with one goal -- a table of grace and belonging on every street -- I’m happy to announce a new resource that not only places the ancient message and medium of Jesus in the hands of everyone but the transfer of these truths as well. It’s a resource we call Reclaim, and for the first time it is available in print through two forms:
Reclaim Field Guide: a leadership resource that includes:
• A chapter unpacking each of the 9
truths in Reclaim
• Images with each Reclaim to help with
• Teacher/leader discussion guide to
help transfer these truths
• Section to keep personal notes with each
• Primers to help empower: Contextualizing the Gospel for your context; Creating a
framework for the mission; and Apprenticing Leaders naturally as you go
Reclaim Field Journal: a participants journal that provides:
• A list of the key Scriptures in each
• Images that help with retention
• Questions to reflect on with each truth
• An area to keep notes on all the
insights they gain along the way
With our mission being that everyone would know the freedom and family found at the table Jesus prepared, I want to invite those who have been through Reclaim to think of those -- inside and outside the faith -- open to learning more about what it means to follow Jesus. Then, invite them to come take a look at what Jesus has actually said and done. If it helps, call it a RECLAIM JOURNEY: A 9-week conversation into how an ancient understanding of grace and belonging leads to the renewal of all things. You can do this one-on-one, with a few people, or with a group.
To get started, pre-order the Reclaim Field Journals you will need for those you’re going to walk with. You can purchase them and grab a reimbursement for yourself, or send them the link to buy their own copy. Pre Order yours today at:
Single journals are $6 each: Click Here
Packs of ten are $5 each: Click Here
Journals will ship at the end of September. The Field Guide for leaders will soon follow.
If you are reading this and you would like to go through the Reclaim Journey yourself, hit us up at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would be honored to walk with you.