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US Census Data & Being Missional December 23, 2010

Posted by Jeremy in discipleship, Evangelism, Thoughts and Theology.
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Being a missionary is not something that a handful of Christians do throughout the world and in the states.  It is something that every Christian is called to when they become a disciple of Christ.

The Bible says that Jesus doesn’t have two classes of disciples: those who abandon their lives to his service and those who don’t.  The call to discipleship is the same for all. Jesus says, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.  For whomever would save his life will lose it, but whomever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it” (Mark 8:34-35)

In Matt. 10:32-33, Jesus tells his disciples, “everyone who acknowledges me before man, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in Heaven,  but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in Heaven.”  The call to discipleship is a call to confess our allegiance  to Jesus in the face of a hostile world.

The Great Commission in Matt 28, is not just for Jesus’ eleven disciples.  It’s the basic agenda for all followers of Christ, for all disciples.  To be a disciple is to be a disciple-maker. “The Great Commission is not fundamentally about mission out there somewhere else in another country.  It’s a commission that makes disciple-making the normal agenda and priority of every church and every Christian disciple.” (Trellis & The Vine, pg. 13)  Then they go on to say that “the authority of Jesus is not limited in any respect.  he is the Lord and Master of my street, my neighborhood, my suburb, my c0-workers, my family, my city, my nation.”

My prayer for us, and the Church this morning is the same as the one prayed in Acts 4:29-31 by the early Christians,

“And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.”

So let us go and make disciples in the places God has placed us to live.  We are missionaries in our neighborhoods, schools, workplaces, and communities.

One of the more helpful resources we have in understanding our communities is the US census.  The 2010 census data has just been tabulated and released.  The New York Times has a great interactive website that gives us a picture of the US as minute as different polling areas.

So take a look at it.  Enter in our zip code.  Zoom in on your neighborhood.  Flip through the various maps.  You might be surprised at what you find out about where you live.

After you flipped through, ask yourself this question: “How has God equipped you to reach the lost in the diverse communities that compose your area?”

NYT – Mapping America, Every City, Every Block

HT for census page:Joe Holland at Christ Covenant

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1. Tweets that mention US Census Data & Being Missional « The Bruised Reed -- Topsy.com - December 23, 2010

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