I leave for Rwanda in six days with about a dozen other Community Christian Church attenders (including my daughter Amy – if you want to check out her blog it is Amy In Rwanda). I had one of the people that I’m going with come up to me tonight and ask, “Why am I going to Rwanda?” She needed me to remind her of our purpose. And it was good for me to say it out loud and remind myself of why I’m going to be gone for 11 days to another continent.
Over the last few years God has been calling CCC to base our mission around the vision that Jesus left his followers in Acts 1:8 – “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, in Samaria and to the ends of the earth.”
- Our “Jerusalem” was the Chicago suburb of Naperville when we started Community Christian Church over 15 years ago.
- Next, our “Judea” was when we went multi-site 8 years ago and started reproducing sites in neighboring communities like Romeoville, Montgomery/Oswego, Plainfield and Shorewood.
- The next place to go was “Samaria” and we began to reproduce new sites in cross-cultural settings like the Pilsen community in Chicago which is 98% Hispanic.
- Finally, about four years ago we began our journey to “the ends of the earth”. It was through our NewThing Network that we were able to plant churches in Denver, California, Detroit, New York City, Boston and soon Knoxville.
And our next step in carrying out the Jesus mission is to determine where we can begin to plant churches internationally. This is not our missions program; we have been on mission since we launched CCC and going international is the next step in being obedient to Jesus vision. Over the last 6 months our staff and key leaders have taken assessment trips to the Philippines, Dominican Republic, France, Mexico and now we are going to Rwanda. This fall and winter we will prayerfully make a decision of which place or places we will go next to plant churches in order to accomplish the Jesus mission. And that’s why I’m going to Rwanda.