We’re all at the ends of the earth

In the last few years there’s been an explosion in interest in church planting in the UK.   Conferences about planting, books about planting,  blogs about planting, training for planting, boot camps for planting ……  you get the idea.

And so now you wait for the ‘but’ from the new blog about overseas cross-cultural mission. 

Yet, here’s the thing, there is no ‘but’.

When we think about Acts 1:8 the story sometimes goes a bit like this … the church today should be involved in mission at home (Jerusalem), regionally (Judea), nationally (Samaria) and overseas (to the ends of the earth).

But here’s the problem, at the end of Acts the gospel has gone to the first three and is making progress in the fourth.  So as Brits wherever we are today, whether Stockton or Sarajevo, Bristol or Belize, we’re all at the ends of the earth.

All of which means that despite our tendency to build our ‘own Jerusalems,’ (Ed Stetzer), the UK is not the centre of God’s universe or indeed his plan to save the nations.  We know that of course, but don’t we constantly need the reminder?

Those of us overseas need reminding of that every day.  We aren’t superior to the locals we serve and no, getting on a plane didn’t make us more holy than those who stayed on mission at home.

Those back home need the reminder too. In the midst of our self-generated publicity sometimes we believe the hype and think we alone are where the action is.  And yet, aren’t the ends of the earth a little bigger than that?

So whether we’re at home or abroad, let’s remember we’re in this together.  We’re all at the ends of the earth, we’re all to make disciples and we’re all here to make a name for Jesus and Him alone.

Michael Prest, serving in SE Asia with UFM

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