Jesus was plainly speaking in Matthew 28 when he commanded us to make disciples of all nations, or ethnicities/cultures. We have a command from our loving, sacrificial, holy Master Jesus to be about every culture on planet earth, so they would know and love Jesus, becoming His disciples and part of His eternal family. The revelation given to John also speaks of this ‘end game’ of our Lord- every tribe, tongue, nation…every ethnicity gathered around the throne of God to worship the Lamb.
So if it is commanded to make disciples among every nation, and if it is clearly evident that it is God’s end game to be worshiped and loved by every nation, then why is it so difficult to even develop a relationship with someone from another culture/ethnicity/? If the vision of God Himself is to have a new Jerusalem, a new city of nations, gathered for His glory, why do we seem to mostly avoid people who are not like ourselves, who dont live like us, go about their business like us, and simply are ‘different’?
Jesus Himself models a clear example of what it takes to make disciples of all ethnicities- He went into cities, offered the same mercy, love, and forgiveness—-relationship— to all those he came across. His simple mode he modeled to his disciples was to regularly, throughout your day Be in prayer to God your Father, Listen to someone’s story long enough to establish trust, Eat and drink with them on a common ground, Serve them in a very ordinary but powerful way (think spit and dirt), and Share with them the amazing news of how the Father is inviting everyone into His family through the blood of Jesus. Our missional communities use this acronym B-L-E-S-S. Just last night we applied this teaching into our lives and talked about normal weekly times we could utilize these things with the people in our workplaces, neighborhoods, coffee shops, gyms, schools, etc.
Yesterday I had a lunch with a young Pakistani man named Ahmed. A wonderful man who has two kids and a wife and just came to America within the year. We set a plan for the summer to bring our kids to the water park together in downtown St Cloud and get our kids and wives together. He helped me get a tasty gyro at his restaurant- I helped him get better car insurance through my day job at State Farm. It is a wonderful mutual friendship and I have been praying that Jesus would show his grace and love to Ahmed and his family in wonderful ways. I really do like the guy! He has a great character and warm heart.
Anna and the kids model this every day to the families they spend time with. She is praying for multiple moms and dads, and spending time with several kids this summer at our home caring for them while their parents work. She is deeply involved with others in our city who are prayer waking and our monthly worship service to invite the presence of God into our city. She labors daily keeping the boys and our home a happy and healthy place, so her part of the ‘all nations’ plan has been to welcome all kinds of couples and families into our home with her delicious cooking skills. I dont mind! 🙂 Pray for our friendships with our friends from all nations here in St Cloud- Turks, Sri Lankans, Bangladeshi, Pakistani, Somali, and yes good ole American white breads like us 🙂 We long to see people fall in love with Jesus, and for Him to wreck hearts with His strong mercy.
This summer we are going to Canada end of July to visit her moms old missionary stomping grounds in Cross Lake Manitoba- 17 hr road trip baby! It will be a blast to see everyone up there and help her mom reunite with old friends- and especially for us and our kids to honor that legacy of bringing the gospel to the Cree and other first nations peoples in northern Canada. Pray for His Spirit to lead us and keep us on the road.
Pray for the three new missional communities we are now mentoring to multiply out this fall, and for the training we are doing within Sanctus and within our city network- local churches are joining us in making disciples of all nations…truly we see the Spirit building us and leading us as a City of Nations!
Love and peace, The Pankratz’