Thanksgiving Brokenness

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year…” We are getting ready for the holiday season and all around we hear Christmas songs playing while the beautiful colors of fall and Christmas begin to flood the places we frequent. And it is barely mid-November. With all of the great “feels” that come from this holiday season, one of the things that often gets overlooked, and therefore not addressed, is the brokenness that exists behind the smiling faces and many gifts.

Divorce, abuse, custody battles, losing a job, sick kids, and all of those family relationships we never healed from but will be present at a Thanksgiving meal, are just a few things some of us are facing as we enter this “wonderful time.” What would it look like for us to be a faithful Family of Missionary Servants this season with such things in mind? Let me suggest to you to take time this Thanksgiving to find the kind of gratitude that produces trust in Jesus. Take time to remember all He has done for you. Only in being Christ-centered will we be able to enter this season armed with the hope that is found in the Gospel. It will free us from having to put up a front, and lead us to a place where we can find gratitude (even in the midst of hard places) because God knows and sympathizes with our brokenness, and is making all things new.

If you happen to not be in a difficult place, praise God for that! But also remember the brokenness that surrounds all of us, and intentionally find a way to be a light and a voice of hope for those that are in difficult place. Who knows, you may become a reason for gratitude from someone that may feel no sense of thanksgiving this upcoming week. 

Here is a link to an article that articulates some practical ways we can do this (with our family, Neighborhood Groups, and friends). Let’s continue to be people that are for Jesus and for Good! 

Grateful for you familia! And for the work we get to do for the Kingdom!

Josue Sanchez, Multiplication Leader

Why Multiply

The Great Commission

    From the opening of Genesis, we see God give the first “great commission” to Adam and Eve, “Be fruitful and multiply.” Fast forward to the New Testament, and we see Jesus approach some men with the words, “Follow me.“ He spent three years teaching, eating, laughing, crying, and doing all the things healthy discipleship entails. At the end of their time together, He commissioned and empowered them for something new- to make disciples that make disciples (Matt 28:19). After years of doing daily life together and establishing intimate relationships, why would those men take on the difficult task of scattering?  

    Their belief and calling in the Gospel is ultimately what drove every one of the apostles to die for their faith. Jesus taught and formed them in such a way that they were able to go off and disciple other people who were not yet believers. It was a calling much greater than their comfort that drove them to obey Christ’s command. It was a deep rooted faith in the Gospel that not only transformed what they did, but how they did it. It was a belief that the grace they experienced as disciples of Jesus was something they must go and show others, even at the cost of their lives. They understood what they were discipled for: to multiply. 

Love God, Love Your Neighbor

    Over the past couple of years, Chris and Christen Madigan have been a faithful part of the Family of Missionary Servants at the Grove. Their hard work is evidenced by the deep relationships they have established, their continual and untiring work in the ministry, and one of the most tangible and beautiful expressions of the Gospel- welcoming three beautiful kids into their life and home. Talk about a full plate and yet being faithful disciples… Along the journey they have discipled many friends to the Cross, and have found much joy and encouragement in their deep friendships at the Lost Creek NG. Why, then, would they multiply out to Long Meadow Farms to start up a new NG? 

    Their story is not that different to the disciples’ journey. Chris and Christen believe as disciples they are called to make disciples. They have poured into and equipped a good group of disciples to stay at Lost Creek. Now their work continues in obedience into LMF. Because of their deep belief in the Gospel and their love for God and neighbors, they will pursue making disciples of all those that don’t yet know Christ in LMF. Their labor is inspiring and challenging because it breaks our cultural’s self-serving normalcy, as well as a consumeristic religious life. 

 

Disciples That Make Disciples

    Paul tells Timothy, “…be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me…entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.” Multiplication comes with aches, ones that are only overcome by strength from faith in the Gospel. We celebrate faithful men and women like the Madigan’s that find purpose and strength in Jesus, give up their comfort, lay down their lives, and move away from years of hard relational work in order to proclaim the Good News to all of their neighbors in LMF. 

    Our work of multiplication is just beginning. If we are disciples of Jesus, we will have a heart to make disciples. I pray, one day not too far, we will all have beautiful stories of multiplication, not for the sake of numbers, but for the sake of spreading the Gospel in obedience. Let’s pray for the work the Madigan’s will do in the LMF Neighborhood Group. Let’s pray for and pursue the joys and aches of dying to multiply. Let’s be disciples that make disciples, and make the great name of Jesus known to all of our neighbors in Richmond.    

For Jesus. For Good. 

Josue Sanchez, Multiplication Leader