Still 'fine-tuning' our process. You can get to the original article HERE
NOTE: THIS ARTICLE is a reprint from the blog of reverend Kevin Rogers of New Song Church in Windsor, Ontario and is reproduced here for your convenience. You can visit the his blog called "The Orphan Age" HERE.
There is a myth that only people that have had similar tragedies can be effective in helping others. The idea is that a recovering addict is the only one who can help a recovering addict. Or a victim of abuse can only help a victim of abuse.
A person’s tragedies can be transformed by God into empathy, compassion, and discernment but, you do not have to live the same as those you befriend and help.
While there are often good examples of this peer support, it is reductive to say that only the sick can help the sick, the poor can help the poor and the sinners can help the sinners. In order to rise above a trauma-informed mindset, we need help from above. We need mentors, teachers and friends that show us another path.
It is the maturing work of God and the love of Christ in someone that equips them to be advocates, mentors and family to the dispossessed. The mission of God will often involve going from the people most like myself to the ones I think are least like me.
In verses six and seven, there is a presupposition that God will bring about a Kingdom where his people are given special prominence and power. That is how Israel heard the promises of God. I would hazard to say that this is how some Christians still think; that we will have special prominence and power in the eyes of the world around us.
However, Jesus does not satisfy the one whose primary interest is having an advantage over others.
We should be wary of those that preach a message of empire in God’s Name. Nationalism is not part of the mission of God. God’s plan through Jesus is to fill us with the Holy Spirit and begin an outward journey to the ends of the earth.
Your primary identity is found in God. The presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives gives the impetus to enter the mission of God.
It starts in the city of Jerusalem and moves out to the county of Judea. Then the mission goes to the neighbouring people group and on to the ends of the earth. Does that mean that everyone on mission goes the greatest possible distance? Individually you need to know how far God wants to extend you, but together we should go as far as possible.
One person cannot go everywhere to everyone, so we are reminded that the mission is a shared vision. Each part of the body has a different function, and the unifying connection makes room for a far-reaching mission. We are united by the empowering Holy Spirit and by a mature love for every member.
Mission Canadauses a chart that helps us contextualize the Great Commission we find in Acts 1:8. From where we find ourselves, we see the progressive nature of the vision to take us from the nearest to furthest, and most similar to most different.