1: The great commission in a Spanish Context

In a way Jesus is telling us to get out of the church and worship Him in and with the world. Especially in Spain but in the whole western i i think it is time to be a disciple of Jesus primarily and show other people how to be one. In the great commission Jesus says “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations” (Math28:19). I learned that originally the imperative,

that is the commanding verb, is ‘making disciples’. The ‘going’, ‘baptizing’ and ‘teaching’ is all part of the process of discipling in this text. In John 20:21 Jesus says he is sending us in the same way he was send to us. Jesus came into the world to be a light in the darkness. Not to separate people from this world to a holy group of people, but to change people’s hearts as they are part of this world (John 1:9-13). Jesus did not become the charismatic leader his disciples were longing for. Jesus was a teacher with many students following him. Jesus did not invite his disciples in a classroom to teach them intellectual knowledge. He usually did something and then explained it. He lived out his Gospel, being the living example himself. “If we accept that mission is an activity of God and not of the church, that we participate in Gods mission and not the other way around, then it follows that we must engage in ways that mirror Gods engagement with the world. It means allowing Jesus to lead us into the third places, market place, homes of the people, in their lives and teach let Him teach us there how to engage in Christ like ways. (Allen Hirsch, the Forgotten ways) Or as Peter Guzmic taught me through listening to his teaching using the BTMobile App: “Jesus never separated the sacred from the secular. He was both completely in the world and completely different than the world. The Church is the transformative agency in this world, representing a different kingdom with different values” (Peter Guzmic, Theology of world missions).

Spain is a country with a great history of the church. 70% of the Spaniards call themselves Catholic while statistics show that only 15-20% actually actively practicing it. But still I think most of those 70% would say that the catholic the only true church or at least suspect other churches to be sects. For many Spaniards “the church is the oppressive institution that has ruled the lives of the people for more than 40 years” (José de Segovia in a youtube film). The church is wealthy, has power, abuses children, etc. if this would be representing God in this world it is better to stay away from such a god as that. When we talk to people, ‘the church’ is a negative word. It is oppressive, corruptive, and indoctrinates people in their sacred realm.

My conclusion is that we need to move out of the church as an institution and a building, and go towards the people. We need to show the people how to be a disciple of Jesus instead of how to run a church. Perhaps my focus is not going to be to plant a church. I want to be a disciple and show others how to be a disciple. We need to be a disciple of Jesus primarily and show other people how to be one or become one. Just like Jesus listened to his Father so well and did what his Father told and showed him.

Torrejon de Ardoz, 19th-May-2016


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