We recently took a group of 6 Southern Wesleyan University students to the Old Fourth Ward, an area in the inner city of Atlanta, to experience and learn about missional community from the people of Blueprint Church. To say the least, this trip was completely life-changing! We got to spend a lot of time with members of the church, many of whom are moving from safer neighborhoods to the crime and violence riddled O4W because of a passion to see the people there transformed by the gospel. They are ordinary people working ordinary jobs doing ordinary things like hooping it up at the local courts with their neighbors. Some are employed by the church but most are not. What is so extraordinary about them is how their lives have been changed by Christ and how intentional they are about sharing that with the people around them. They are a family of people who are walking with each other and inviting people in, sharing triumphs and tragedies, victories and struggles, helping each other fix their eyes on Jesus and leave behind the temporary comforts of the world. And they are so filled with a visible, tangible joy and dependence on God.
Culture tells us we need to choose where we live and what we do based on the most secure job and the most comfortable lifestyle, but what if God has so much more of himself to give us in the uncomfortable places and the situations where we can do nothing but depend on him? This trip has given me vision for my life and showed me that knowing Jesus is taking continuous, intentional steps away from the comfort of this world to be filled more and more by him and to invite more and more people to be filled by him.