One of the things I love to do is meet up with other family members, so as I flew into Calgary, this was what I was looking forward to the most. ‘Wait,’ I can here you say, ‘Are there Devines in Calgary?’ Maybe, but the family I am referring to is our extended Church family connected through the Evangelical Missionary Church of Canada. Every alternate year we have a Regional Gathering and a General Assembly, primarily so the family can meet. Often that includes some of our Missionaries who serve in various parts of the world.
This year the theme was ‘Following Jesus Together: Disciple Making in Community.’ Our Guest Speaker, Caesar Kalinowski who has just written a book called, ‘Transformation’ challenged us to first practice living out of our new identity in Christ. We were reminded that, “The world says, we do to be. The Gospel says, we do out of who we are.” Mission flows out of who we are in Christ. The experience of His love motivates us to love others.
If we are to respond to God’s command to make disciples then we need the Gospel, Community and Mission. “As a family we extend God’s family out to others by inviting people into our lives where we imitate Christ.” Ceasar told many stories of how God has used him and his family to do that intentionally where they live.
Often it started with simple connections that were part of the normal rhythms of life such as sharing a meal, helping to paint a deck, mowing a lawn, having a one more minute conversation and asking someone how they really are.
Missional living is something we all can do because it is who we are: people who have been brought into family and restored to life in God.
I am thankful for the challenges and also the opportunity to connect with family again. It is such an encouragement to know that we are part of something bigger than ourselves and that together, within community, we can make disciples through Christ.
Pastor Sam Devine