SPACES – THE SPACE YOU’RE IN
Our lives are often ones of compartments, are they not? Consider how you approach much of life: you break it into bits of time, place, relationships, etc. So when we’re young we play, when we’re older we get married and have children, and when we’re really old our kids put us in a home. Then we also break down life into spatial compartments in that we dress and act one way at work vs. home vs with family vs. with neighbors. Perhaps we even separate relationships, never considering overlap or that actually the space for one relationship is actually enhanced by another. We then try to project purpose on each of those, all the while forsaking mission in each because we’ve reserved that small space for once a week on a Sunday morning.
Meanwhile, God has put us in each of those spaces to make much of Jesus! He has not set apart one from the other. Rather, He has sovereignly determined all of them, intending to fill them with HIs Glory–get this, now–through you. So rather than a series of small disparate spaces that we make, it is a series of overlapping spaces that He has created for which we can be on mission. The purpose is not the space; filling it with His glory is.
But that does not come naturally; we need to be immersed in an environment where we can learn, where we can be equipped, to be on mission. While this seems foreign to many, it is actually quite familiar to most. Take, for example, your job. In order to do your job, you get trained. That training, though, doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Rather, you may take a class or some kind of teaching first. It doesn’t stop there, though. You then are actually immersed in the culture of your job where you can apply not only in what you’ve been trained, but what has been missed in that training. You’re in real-time training, in that regard. You then may have additional training later on or rely on the expertise of someone who’s been doing the job for a while. You get feedback, constructive criticism, affirmation. Advanced learning or professional development happens when you’ve been on the job for some time. You share stories with your coworkers and learn from them. Finally, you get the opportunity to immerse someone else in your space, teaching them all you’ve learned through experience, training, challenges, failures, successes.
Here at Life, we’ve seen that living out the gospel in the space in which God has sovereignly placed us is crucial to being on mission (to make disciples who make disciples). Hence we gather in missional communities to immerse ourselves in a gospel culture, enabling us to learn with our family and be subsequently sent out to be missionaries in those spaces. In those times that we gather with our “family” over the course of the week, we are reminded of our spaces and where we need the gospel to permeate them.
Over the course of this series some of us will be re-awakened to this immersion, while others may be experiencing it for the first time. We encourage you to join the conversation as we look at what it means to be on mission in our spaces. Here are questions we’ll engage in this week:
1. What are the spaces that you currently occupy?
2. How have you tried to find your purpose in those spaces?
3. What do you believe you need in order to fill those spaces with the glory of God?