We’re getting ready to kick of another major push outward to bring the gospel and make disciples in our contexts and beyond. In order to do this, we’re forming a key group of those who have demonstrated one thing; A desire to extend the reach of our current mission practice. There’s a movement happening here in the Cloud Forest of Ecuador. We may have desired it, prayed for it, and even helped facilitate it, but the Lord brought it to fruition and He alone deserves the glory.
None the less, we all are convicted and stand in agreement that it’s time to reach further into the communities we’re working in and reach further out to where the Gospel has not been planted and where disciples to be are in waiting. All of the members of this key group have thought much, prayed much, and counted the cost. They all, singles, husbands, and wives, are poised to begin learning how to be missionaries in their contexts and beyond.
I wanted to address a concern that was raised by one of the more mature and advanced members of our new Ecuadorean Forge Tribe. He said, that he was a bit preoccupied that almost half of the group were new believers or not as advanced as the other half of the group. I assured him that this was a very good thing. I’ll never forget an obscure statement by Lesslie Newbigin, when he said:
“Sending churches are often insulated from the correction
that it needs to receive from the new converts.”
In other words, the leaders that begin a missional initiative must always be ready and open to receive both the encouragement and corrective exhortation of those who have been reached. New converts interject value and momentum into mission. To create class structure or to separate actually hurts mission. The “new thing” that the Spirit may wish to do among you is often relayed from the mouth of babes.
Are there any good reasons for separating out new converts from the more mature in scattering (mission) or gathering (church)? What are they?