the weblog of Alan Knox

Living "out there"

Posted by on Jun 10, 2008 in discipleship, love, missional, service | Comments Off

Yesterday, in my post called “And day by day“, I recalled how were are learning to share our lives with brothers and sisters in Christ “day by day”. In other words, “church” is not a location or a weekly event to us. “Church” is a family. God has adopted us into his family, and we are now brothers and sisters with all of his children – “brother” and “sister” are not just titles, they point to actual relationship.

But, as I ended my post yesterday, I explained that lately I have recognized that something is missing from our lives. What is missing? We are missing the “in the world” part. Jesus said that we are to be “in the world” but not “of the world”. We need to live “out there” among the people who have not been reconciled to God yet. We need to live among the least and the lost. We need to learn how to love and serve and practice hospitality toward those who are not brothers and sisters in Christ.

Don’t get me wrong… this is not a new realization in my life. This realization happens regularly to remind us not to get too comfortable living among the saints – as important as that is. Just as Jesus came for the “lost sheep”, he sends us “out there” as well.

A couple of years ago, when we moved from seminary housing to a real, live house, we tried to build relationships with some of our neighbors. We’re continuing to try to build those relationships, but it has been very slow. We’re learning to be patient and trust God to work in their lives. We are waiting on God to give us opportunities (which he has) to love and serve our neighbors.

We’ve also recently served our community through the Relay for Life for the American Cancer Society. It was a great way to offer hope and help to hurting people. We met alot of people and plan to continue supporting this cause.

But, lately I’ve been thinking that God has another way for us to be “out there”. I don’t want to share details at this point. We have an acquaintance (not a friend yet) who has access to a group of people that may need to see a real, tangible demonstration of God’s love. In the next few days, I’m hoping to talk to our friend and see if God may be leading us both in the same direction. I’ll keep you posted.

If God is doing what I think he may be doing, then this will probably require some changes for us. And, it will be costly. It won’t cost us much financially, but it may cost us time and energy. We may have to change our schedule… give up a few comforts. But, God is worth any cost, as are the people involved.