Monday, September 15, 2008


I have been raised in The Church and my experience tells me that outreach is an Event. Through out high school I went to outreach events where we brought friends, a speaker told them about Jesus and we were encouraged to "follow up". I was challenged to share my faith, but it was easier to let a speaker do it! Even now I immediately think of alter calls and large gatherings of Christians when I think of "outreach".

Luke 10:1-12 is the story of the sending of the 72. This is one of the first times where they did "outreach" on their own. Jesus is sending 72 disciples out like "lambs among wolves" to tell an unbelieving people that the Kingdom of God is near. His instructions include "don't take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road." Really Jesus? I can imagine the disciples just looking at him. They must have been thinking "Why would I NOT take these things with me!?" I would venture a guess that the other Rabbis of Jesus' day did not tell their disciples to leave the food, water and money at home! This was a huge step outside of their comfort zone. This was uncharted territory.

Relationship was also key to their mission. They were not to hold large gatherings and baptize people with water like John the Baptist's disciples. They are told to go to one house and stay there- to be in relationship. Their words are to be accompanied by action. They were meeting the needs of people as an expression of love and authority. This was not simply preaching, this was investing a part of themselves in the people they were with.

Mathew 10:7-10 summarizes their task;
" As you go, preach this message:'the kingdom of heaven is near. 'Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give. Do not take along any gold or silver or copper in your belts; take no bag for the journey or extra tunic, or sandals or a staff; for the worker is worth his keep.'"

Speaking the Message of Truth.
Meeting the physical needs of people.
Extreme trust in the provision of the Lord.

I am not to organize an event to entertain and amuse my friends.
I am not to recruit the most eloquent speaker to share their testimony.
I am not to depend on extensive budgets and plans.

I am to tell them that the Kingdom of God is near
I am supposed to live among the sick and the hungry.
I am to feed them and heal them.
I am supposed to trust in the provision of the Lord
Somehow I don't think that this will be convenient.

The Church has become comfortable with her Programs and Outreach Events. We have allowed ourselves to be smothered under apathy and religiosity. We defer Truth to be spoken by pastors and speakers. We clutch our gold, silver and extra tunics and we stay with the other sheep. We have forgotten the poor, the sick and the hungry. They are in the uncomfortable places. They are with the wolves.

Lord forgive your Church for being content and apathetic. May your Holy Spirit bring a new understanding of who You are. May we weep your tears as we feed the hungry and heal the sick. May we speak Truth with your boldness and authority as we walk among the wolves. May we hear and respond to your call to intimacy and passion. Work great things in our day that You would be glorified. Hear our prayer and listen to our cry for mercy...

Saturday, September 6, 2008


It is easy to miss God's faithfulness in the busyness of life. I was reminded in a very profound way this summer of where God has taken me and given a new hope for the future.

In high school my friend Jessica and I would meet weekly at a coffee shop and talk about God, our dreams for the future, how our devotions were going etc. Over the four years of High school we led worship team together, did Jr high bible studies, went to youth retreats and in general had a blast. Commonly we would talk about going to the mission field, maybe being married, me being a doctor, and wondered what countries we would go to and what languages we would learn. We had amazing dreams for where God would take us.

Jessica and her husband are now missionaries overseas. They teach bible and music and have a great time! It was fun to see God bring a man into her life with giftings and passions that complement hers so well! This summer they came back home because they were going to have a baby...and wanted me to be their doctor! I was so excited and privileged to be taking care of them and their unborn son.

The delivery was so fun! I was the first one to "meet" their first born son and to hand him to his excited (and tired!) parents. After the delivery was over I was able to pray a blessing over him. Wow. 10 years ago we could have never imagined such a scenario! God has fulfilled so many of our dreams and brought us to some amazing places.

It is easy for me to get discouraged by the never ending business of my life. It is hard to imagine life outside of residency. This delivery was a profound reminder that God IS Faithful! I have so many dreams that seem impossible, but really, the reality that God has for me is so rich that I am sure to look back in 10 years and be amazed at where God has taken me.