Our Upstream Collective vision trip began last night. We had our first gathering last night at a local café and got to know each other a bit. We come from diverse background but connected in that we all want to see the church involved in missions. Several conversations that I had revolved around how we feel the Great Commission was given to the church. What does this look like in a day where it is so east to pay organizations and networks to do it? How can the church fully express itself in the Great Commission.
This morning we are headed to St. Paul’s here in Rome. It is the second largest church. We will have more conversations and lots of café. Have I mentioned that the café here is great.
I am going to talk this morning about being “invited” in. I will look at the story of Phillip as he went up to the Chariot as the Spirit led him on the road out of the city. As he obeyed the Spirit the Ethopian official invited him in. We see this again with Paul as he was in Athens. I will actually be in that city next month but that is another post. Paul was in three spaces as Erwin McManus says. He first went to the religious place where there were God fearers present and he engaged in conversation with. As often the case he would work in the marketplace for he was a tent maker and the marketplace was his second place. I believe as Paul was in this second place it gave him opportunity to be invited into the “third space”. He was invited into the group to be able to explain these things that he believed in.
Ministry in Europe today is a lot like that I think. We have to live amongst the people here. We pray for opportunities to join them. We seek to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. We hope to be invited into their spaces. It is then when we have awesome opportunities to share Jesus and see people’s lives changed.