I Am Sending You
Amy Nickerson | February 2018
It must have been exhilarating to be in that room. The air had to be charged with awe and anticipation. The disciples joyously hanging on every word. “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”
The night Jesus first appeared to the apostles after rising from the dead, John 20:21 says he sent them. Christ’s great commission to go into the world and make disciples of all nations was a mandate he reminded them of often. It was their calling; what they were created to do. What would bring them purpose and direction in life.
He breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” Even then, it was promised they wouldn’t go alone. It must have been both humbling and faith-building to be there then.
We don’t have the privilege of being present that night when the early disciples gathered. But last week, I stood in a room with around 30 nationals committed to making disciples who make disciples here in Central and Eastern Europe. Having just gone through JV’s national orientation at our Winter Academy, these new staff members were ready to go home to their local churches and ministries to equip young people to fulfill Jesus’ call to baptize, teach, and obey.
We stood in a circle during worship and there was an air of awe and anticipation as the worship leader invited us individually to enter the middle of the circle. Once someone had, we laid hands on them and said, “And the church says, ‘I am sending you.’” We did this for everyone in the room and were reminded just how significant Christ’s words that night long ago were.
He Is Sending You
I think it’s safe to say that people doubt their callings all the time. It is one thing to know what the Bible states as Jesus’ mission for us, it’s quite another to personally enter into it with him.
For some JV missionaries, being sent by Christ means moving across the ocean to a foreign place, leaving friends and family behind, struggling to learn a new language and culture, and daily needing to ask others for help.
For the ⅔ of our JV missionaries who are nationals, accepting his call entails being willing to stand out even in their own cultures and countries, where being in full-time ministry is radically different from the norm. It means trusting God to provide support, risking being misunderstood or rejected by loved ones, and boldly sharing the message of Jesus with young people who need to hear it.
You don’t have to be a missionary though to step up and live out your call. Christ clearly sent the disciples to pursue a life of faithful service to him in Scripture. Today, if you’re a follower of him, he’s sent you as well. It’s going to take sacrifice. You’ll need help. The world will view you as radical. But running after Jesus with everything you’ve got and inspiring others to do that too is what you were created for. And the one who made you is the one who said, “I am sending you.”
You Can Send Others
As we see in Acts, the disciples took this call from Jesus seriously. After Christ ascended back into heaven, they committed to spreading his good news wherever they went and ended up making numerous other disciples and sending them out to do the same.
One of the most powerful things for me about being in the room with the nationals last week was the realization that as part of the body of Christ, we don’t just get to be sent, we have also been given the authority by Jesus to send others. We get to say “I am sending you.” With these words, we speak purpose and direction into each other’s lives.
That is what the group of new JV nationals were sent out from that room to do. Joining the rest of the Josiah Venture team, they are working with this mission in mind: to equip young leaders across the region to live out Jesus’ calling on their lives through the local church.
Our hope is that wherever you are, you feel the excitement of being sent by Christ to send out others to live for him as well. Because no matter what room you’re in, “I am sending you” is a phrase that’s exhilarating to hear.
Please pray for our new national staff members as they go and make disciples who make disciples around Central and Eastern Europe. And check out our Opportunities page if you think God may be calling you to come and make disciples with us.