This last weekend, we were privileged to Pastor Wilfredo “Choco” De Jesús speak at our International Feast and NexLevel events. He challenged us with the story of Jesus getting into Peter’s boat and how it changed Peter’s life forever. Jesus literally got into the boat of Peter and called him to come and see what he was all about. Later in his life, Jesus sent Peter to go and die.
Jesus has given us the same call to come and see and then to go and die. He sends us to die to ourselves and make an impact in our communities. In order to do this, we have to start where Jesus did and get into people’s boats.
1. We need to engage people.
In order to make an impact, we have to get into people’s boats and see what they need. The church will never be able to know what people’s needs are if we don’t talk to them and hear their stories. Ultimately, this is about doing life together with people. We cannot share what the gospel really means in the lives of our neighbors if we aren’t sharing our lives with them. We have to do life in the community and get into people’s boats.
2. We need to engage our cities.
More than getting to know our neighbors and meeting their needs, the church needs to engage cities and speak up against the injustices happening around us. The church has the opportunity to work together to right the wrongs in their cities. To do this we have to build relationships throughout our cities in club, businesses, schools, and governments. We need to make a stand for those who cannot stand for themselves.
3. We need to engage the world.
This is something that many churches already do, but still the point must be made. Just as we need to get into our cities to stand against the injustices, we need to speak up for the injustices around the world. The church is not limited by anything other than it’s own choice not to act. We in the west especially have the call to act, because we have been blessed with resources and freedom to act on behalf of those who cannot stand up for themselves.
The clear call from this weekend was get out of the church building and into the boats of our neighbors, our cities, and the world. We need to engage those around us and be the body of Christ in the world.
I’ll end with an illustration that Pastor Choco gave us this weekend. In the NFL teams huddle mere seconds and then they have to run a play. The church needs to act like NFL teams. We need to get out of our huddles and begin running plays. We’ve spent years in our huddles, go run a play.
When Jesus gets into your boat, he calls you to go and get in someone else’s boat. Whose boat do you need to get into? How can you engage your neighbors, your city, and the world?