[by Eric Zander, Director Strategy]
In this new issue of our journal, we are opening a triptych that will display, step by step, the key to our new VIANOVA strategy. Our aim is to see a movement of integrated communities of the disciple of Jesus blossom everywhere in Belgium. So we need to initiate the energy needed to generate a movement that will, potentially, perpetuate.
This is more of a rediscovery than something new. When we look to Jesus, we see Him use two commands that are apparently contradictory when He tells us to “Come!” and to “Go!”
Jesus calls us all to come to Him to receive His Spirit*, to find rest **…but when He calls His disciples to Him, it is not to sit comfortably around Him and wait for others to join in. Jesus calls His disciples to Him, to send them out…. Just after “Come!” there is an immediate “Go!”
- “Jesus called His twelve disciples… These twelve Jesus sent out…” (Matt 10 v.1 & 5)
- “I chose you and appointed you to go” (John 15 v.16)
- “Jesus…called to Him those He wanted, and they came to Him…..that He might send them out..” (Mark 3 v.13 & 14)
- “He called His disciples to Him and chose twelve of them, whom He also designated apostles” (literally – ‘those who are sent’) (Luke 6 v.13)
This sending out into the world, first of all to those who are the weakest and to those who are lost, is addressed to all His disciples. “As My Father has sent me, I am sending you.” (John 20 v.21) We may not all be called to leave our way of life, our family, our home, our jobs but we are all called to go to others with the deliberate intention of showing them Jesus, at work, in the neighbourhood, to our friends, to our families…
For too long our evangelism could be summed up as the organization of events to invite in the lost, or as the verbal proclamation of the Gospel in public places to complete strangers. We want to respond to His call by incarnating the life of Jesus among our contemporaries, praying that God will open hearts and lead us to those who are seeking Him.
We need to incarnate Jesus in the world, across all levels of society, by developing our networks of normal relationships and initiating new networks. God is already at work. Let’s go and join Him. That’s how the movement gets underway.
*John 7 v.37
** Matt. 11 v.28