What adventure does God want you to go on?
Telling 100 inspirational stories of Baptists embracing adventure in the mission of God - Simon Goddard introduces the new Missional Adventure portal on our website
In 2019 Lynn Green, in a Spirit-filled and inspiring sermon, reiterated her hope and desire for the Baptist movement. She said: “This is what we want to do; this is what God is calling us to know… we want to embrace adventure!”
I join Lynn in that prayer for more of an adventurous spirit across Baptists Together, but as someone who has had the privilege to serve the Baptist family in both regional and national roles, I know that there are already many individuals and churches who are getting out of their comfort zones and embarking on exciting missional journeys.
When you start travelling on a road you’ve never been on before; when you set out not knowing if you’ve got all of the resources you’re going to need; and when even the destination is uncertain; this is when you know you’re on an adventure. When this journey is one that God is inviting you to take, despite the fear, you know you can step out in faith, experimenting, innovating and trusting God to meet you as you take risks in His name.
This adventurous spirit is necessary because the landscape of mission in the 21st century is, in many ways, new and unfamiliar. The context was changing even before Covid-19, and some of the things that worked in church a few decades ago no longer seem to be bearing the fruit they once did. But God is longing, I believe, to release into His church, a new creativity, in order that we may find ourselves in new places, doing new things, and sharing the wonderful gospel in words and actions with new people.
This month marks the launch of a new portal on the Baptists Together website where, over the next ten months, we’ll be sharing 100 stories of missional adventures already taking place across our Baptist family. As Yinka Oyekan spoke of his aim to encourage 100 new pioneering and planting adventures amongst Baptists during his presidential year we want to be inspiring and stimulating you with stories about what’s already happening.
Sometimes it’s easy to be discouraged, and to resign ourselves to a narrative of decline in the church. Yes, the statistics indicate that these are challenging times, but there is also much to celebrate – stories of renewal and growth and flourishing. Churches who are asking what God wants for them, and then stepping out in obedience to Him, faithfully embracing risk are finding that God is very much with them in the midst of the fear and the excitement.
I call such people ‘Bucket List’ Baptists – based on the film of the same name. Two men meet in hospital, both with life-shortening illnesses, and they discuss their regrets at the things they’ve left undone in their lives – destinations not visited, dreams not chased, relationships left unreconciled. They write these down in their ‘bucket list’ and resolve to tick them all off before they ‘kick the bucket’. Realising they might die in the process, they decide that it’s better to ‘go down trying’ than play it safe and die with the regret of not having tried at all.
What would it look like for you and your church to be similarly ‘all in’ for what God is calling you into?
We hope the you’ll get a sense of the answer to this question when you visit www.missionaladventure.net. This link will take you directly to a new dedicated part of the Baptists Together website where you’ll find 10 new stories each month – written articles, videos and episodes of a new podcast we’ve launched. Search for the Missional Adventure Podcast in your favourite podcast provider and subscribe now – we’ll be releasing new stories every fortnight until March 2021.
When you read, watch and listen to these 100 stories we hope you’ll praise God for what he’s doing through the individuals and churches you’ll hear about. We also pray that you’ll be inspired and challenged to follow Jesus in your own adventure. We’re not asking you to copy the stories that you’ll hear, rather we’re asking you to ask God what adventure he wants you to go on, and then in boldness be ready to follow wherever He leads.
We’re so pleased that Andy Flannagan has written an inspirational yet challenging song for this project called The Adventure, and you can watch a video of Andy singing it and download the music on the site.
Image | Brent Payton | Unsplash
Also, if you have story that you think would inspire others, then why not share it on social media with the hashtag #missionaladventure. We may even pick it up and use it on the website…