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I want to challenge you with an idea that you probably can’t act upon right now… It’s such a radical idea that if you had to act upon it right now you might not be able to; so it’s better that we can talk about it in the abstract first… The question I want you to consider is: would you be willing to move to a particular area, a neighborhood or city…for God? I know that you would move someplace for the sake of work; if your job required you to move someplace and it was important to your career… I know that many of you would move someplace because of finances: if you found a great deal and could save some much needed money. I know that many of you would also move someplace for relationship reasons: either you’re single and you want to be near other singles, or you are in a relationship and want to move closer… But would you be willing to move someplace for non-financial, non-career related, non-relationship reasons…just because God wanted you to?
In the early days of Jesus, following him always meant something geographic. The first church in Jerusalem required people to relocate from the outer boroughs and far reaching cities, to Jerusalem, the religious center for everyone waiting for the Messiah.
In more recent times, John M. Perkins who started the Christian Community Development Association (CCDA) asked Christians to relocate into some of his areas poorest communities…in order to share their lives in practical ways. As they relocated their families, they brought their resources, their political influence, their social capital… All things that poorer neighborhoods needed in order to see change.
What if God wanted you to move someplace to help people there know Jesus? Would you do it? Or would you talk yourself out of it, “Jesus wants me to save up for a home,” “Jesus wants me to focus on my job”, “Jesus wants me to keep my kids in a good school system…”?
Every adventure begins when someone leaves the comforts of their normal life (the life they choose) to go someplace they would not have normally gone. I think God has an adventure for you – and it might involve moving into a different kind of neighborhood someday… Maybe it’ll be a poorer neighborhood than you’re used to, where you can live out your Christian witness. Or maybe it’ll be a pricer neighborhood than you would have chosen, where you can help host and develop Christian community. Either way, I hope that when the time comes you’ll be ready to take the call.