6 weeks ago, I was unpacking boxes in the garage of my new home in the scorching heat. It was a typical being-in-the-garage-in-the-Summer experience. You know, the the kind of experience where you wish Jesus would just come back so you wouldn’t have to do this kind of work and the kind where your sanctification is tested in all sorts of ways. It was in the middle of some good progress when I received a call from Grant Barnett, a pastor in Arkansas. He was calling me to ask how a group of his students could help out Grace Harbor Church. I was pumped! The fact that a church wanted to come help us out next Summer was huge for us.
Not long into the conversation though, he said they were looking into a trip for this Summer. In about 5 weeks.
Everything inside of me wanted to say “no”. In fact, I’m pretty sure I opened my mouth to say “no”, but somehow “yes” is what I said. The moment I said yes, I was stricken with stress and panic. What are we supposed to do for 5 days with a group of students? How do we fill up their time? Where will all these kids stay and how do we care for them?
All of these thoughts filled my mind, but I also had this overwhelming peace that we had made the right call. Over the next couple of hours, I felt excitement and anticipation. I quickly jumped on the phone and set up meetings with people that I had never met. Before we knew it, we hadn’t merely set up projects, we had established some incredible relationships with neighbors and organizations in OKC.
Fast forward a few weeks.
By the time this group had come, served with us, and left, we learned something extremely significant:
It’s never too early to live out your mission.
We not only became convinced of this, but we also experienced that if you aren’t willing to give your life(or at least your time) for your mission, it may be time to evaluate what you’re really focused on. Living out what you are called to do is hard work. For us, our mission is simple:
Grace Harbor Church exists to share the transforming love and power of Jesus with our city. We seek to be great neighbors, develop life-changing relationships, and live in a life-giving way.
We learned that unless we want this statement to merely be a slogan, we have to live it out. We have to live it out early and we have to live it out often.
I was asked several times as we were serving last week where our church was. Since we don’t have a place and aren’t technically established, I at first was discouraged because I felt like we were really missing an opportunity to benefit from these connections. By the second day or so, I was overcome with gratitude that we were able to simply serve our city.
Each time we served inside a school last week and were asked who we were with, we were intentional to plug the organization we were with that was there in the neighborhood with them and had committed to the long-term needs of the residents and teachers. Aside from our community event on Friday night, we didn’t advertise or invite one person to a Vision Night or a Fall Preview Service.
So, my question to you is this: what’s holding you back?
If you’re a church, what is standing between you and the mission God has called you to in your city?
If you’re a man or a woman, what is keeping you from giving all you have to God? What is He asking you to do today? Are you so convinced that God loves some future version of you that you are missing out on the love and acceptance He has for you today?
Remember, it’s never too early to live out your mission. Start today!