A recent conversation with a friend revealed to me that he and his wife were praying about the possibility of relocating from their current home in the Nashville area. This young couple is involved in one of the LifePoint campuses there but is trying to determine if God is calling them to possibly be a part of one of the other LifePoint campuses which are located in Seattle, Bangkok and Belgium. I did my best to offer advice based on my own experience of discerning God's will in such matters. One piece of this advice was for this friend to talk to as many people as possible about these thoughts.
It was at this point that I became thankful for the culture that God has created at LifePoint. Our goal as a church is to send people to be the church where there is no church. This simple statement is being fulfilled repeatedly in the lives of so many people. This unnamed friend is not the first to be thinking like this. I am amazed at how God continues to call people to accomplish His purpose among the nations.
What is equally encouraging is that my friend is able to ask these questions and discern God's calling in an environment that promotes this type of thinking. It seems that our churches often become a place in which we try to raise up leaders and hold on to them. Instead we are called to raise up new leaders for the purpose of sending them out to make an impact on the rest of the world.
I am convinced more now than ever that the church cannot be dependent solely on organizations such as the International Mission Board. Although the IMB is an incredible agency that has accomplished an incredible amount for the Kingdom it is simply not enough. The estimated 5000 SBC missionaries are not enough to reach the 5 billion people who do not know Christ. It is going to take people like my friend who are willing to accept God's call to go wherever He directs and to make an impact for His name in another culture and context.