Moving beyond what we can do

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A few years ago I visited friends who had chosen to live and work in the slums of a major South American city. I was deeply impressed with their commitment to serve among the poor as a family, despite the high levels of crime and disease. They were a living witness to God’s presence in a dark place.

I asked my friend, how many people live in this slum? There were over 120,000. I wondered what it would take to reach the whole slum, not just one neighborhood.

I’ve visited Kabera a slum of over 1,000,000 people in Nairobi, Kenya. It was overwhelming. Our vision for the spread of the gospel has to extend beyond presence in one neighborhood, to every man, woman and child in such a place.

If instead of asking ourselves What would Jesus do? we asked, What did Jesus do? our ministries would look very different. Jesus would have had a plan to reach every neighborhood. Jesus would have been on the move connecting, looking for households of peace, training workers among the people themselves.

Jesus would not be satisfied until the mission moved beyond what he did, to a growing movement of ordinary people.