On Expedition… A Divine Expedition with Jesus
Our ministry updates have the heading “On Expedition.” Ever wonder what we mean? What we mean is that we are on a Divine Expedition. We are “on expedition with Jesus.” We are called to follow, serve, and proclaim Jesus. Doing so is the greatest expedition of all time.
All of us are prompted to reflect on the meaning of life and questions like: “Why am I here?” “What is life all about?” “Is this all there is?” “Is there a greater purpose to life?” If so, where can I find it?” These questions are often suppressed, as people absorb themselves with everyday matters.
Sadly, many live with an underlying despair, as they have no overarching purpose in life. As eighteenth century philosopher Henry David Thoreau reportedly said, “most men (people) live lives of quiet desperation.” Edvard Munch captured modern man’s fear, anxiety, and meaninglessness in his painting, “The Scream.”
In contrast to lives of quiet desperation, emptiness, and purposelessness, God reveals the meaning and purpose that each of us seeks. That meaning is brought into focus in the Book of Romans. Linus Jr and I tried to capture this in our book, “The Divine Expedition: Where Are You in the Book of Romans?”
The Mission of the Divine Expedition: Rescue and Restore
The book of Romans unveils the answers to the questions of meaning and purpose that ricochet inside each of us. Romans unpacks the meaning and mission for which we were created.
Paul points to the “the good news” or “the gospel.” Wherever Paul traveled, he presented the message that we call the Divine Expedition revealed in Romans. He penned its basic outline in the book of Romans and sent it in advance of his planned visit to the followers of Jesus in Rome. In this letter, Paul presents God’s Master Plan for the rescue, transformation, empowerment, and purpose for each person.
What is the mission of the Divine Expedition? It is a mission of rescue and restoration. It is the good news that God sent Jesus to rescue and restore us. Jesus came to rescue us from our lostness and brokenness and restore to us His Divine design and purpose. Through the redemptive, transforming, resurrection power of Jesus Christ we are rescued and restored.
Once we are rescued and enter into God’s restoration, we become part of God’s rescue team and are enlisted to rescue and restore those in our four worlds: biological (family), geographical (neighbors), vocational (school and work), and volitional (friends). The message of Romans is that God has designed us to play a role in a grander story. We are meant to be “On Expedition” with Jesus to rescue and restore others.
No Little People, No Little Places
One of the books (and messages) that has influenced me is Francis Schaeffer’s “No Little People, No Little Places.” All of us can be On Expedition wherever we are.
Sharon and I are grateful for being catapulted out On Expedition in places like Europe, Africa, South America, and Asia—but we rejoice at the stories of those who serve faithfully in hidden places—like my friend Dotti who wrote about her routine weekly/monthly happening:
Bible study Sunday mornings with a group we call Silver Lining because we‘re age 50+ and we all admit it.First Monday mornings help organize the seat pockets in the church auditorium. It’s a ministry because it keeps the next group of people from having to fish crayons, pen caps, art work on envelopes, trash, candy wrappers, etc., from the pockets and half-finished soft drink cans and water bottles from under seats, and gives them fresh material each week–one of many seemingly mundane tasks which can be done “to the glory of God.”Second Monday evenings attend meetings of the Missions Leadership Team, which is responsible for guiding decisions concerning the church’s “global partners”–changed from “missionaries” because of the locations of some of them in sensitive areas.Tuesday afternoons mentor a woman who’s a new believer in Christ and like a sponge wanting to know everything at once. She’s so intelligent she asks questions I never thought of and keeps me digging trying to keep up!Thursday mornings lead a women’s Bible study, and that keeps me off the street, too, preparing for and guiding that. This has been going on for 12 years.Third Fridays indulge in others’ cooking at a potluck we call OWLS–”older wiser loving seniors.”Attend church Saturday nights; the 2nd and 5th weeks Eloise and I staff the Community Life Center, the info booth where people can come and sign up for events or ask questions, and on a good night they can get correct answers!
What We Are Reaching for On Expedition in 2017
Here are some of the things we are reaching for by God’s grace and strength in 2017:
- Continue and expand the mentoring and training of regional leaders in the Brazilian states of Rio Grande do Sul, Sao Paulo, and Pernambuco.
- Develop an international Divine Expedition team to train leaders in multiple countries.
- Identify and begin Divine Expedition training in a new country (several are under consideration).
- Continue to follow up and encourage those leaders, trainers, and church planters who have participated in the Divine Expedition training.
- Continue to lead the NO BS BS (when not traveling). We are pursuing the theme: “Big Issues that We Face Today.” I write up the notes after each study and hope eventually to edit these into a book or booklets. My goal is to equip others to communicate and contend for the Gospel in a compelling and compassionate way.
Thank you for being On Expedition with us…thank you for being On Expedition with Jesus to rescue and restore others to God’s design.
Because of His great grace,
Linus and Sharon