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We Will Launch

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He’s alive!

Reports were coming in that the miracle of all miracles had happened. Yet, as the sun dawns on that first Easter, we find the Lord’s disciples huddled together behind locked doors for fear of the Jewish authorities (John 20:19). Weaker beginnings for world-changing movements would be hard to find.

In hiding. In fear. Unimpressive.

Yet to these—the cowering and confused—the Messiah appears.

Peace be with you, He announces, showing them the scarred evidence of His crucified body. Peace be with you, He repeats, perhaps reassuring them on a deeper level (John 20:21).

Next Jesus makes one of the most stunning declarations the earth has ever received. To those who had doubted, to those who had fled, to those who were too fearful to investigate a vacant tomb, and even to the one (Peter) who had blatantly denied Him, Jesus speaks into their lives with all the authority of heaven, As the Father has sent me, I am sending you (John 20:21).

Jesus is commissioning them; this is obvious. He’s telling them, “You are now on assignment.” They are to be His sent ones to take His love, power, and message to all the peoples of the world. His commission alone is stunning and powerful.

Yet Jesus adds a few simple words to the commission that give it greater weight: As the Father has sent me . . .

Jesus: the Sent and the Sender

It’s hard for us to imagine Jesus in heaven before His arrival to earth through Mary. We too often forget that He was there, delighting in the Creation of the earth and that by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible . . . all things were created by him and for him (Col. 1:16). We don’t often think of Jesus at the Father’s side as Satan comes to put Job to the test. We may miss the significance that before Abraham was born, I am! (John 8:58).

Yet the fact is clear: In the glory of heaven Jesus dwelt in eternity past. The angels must have gathered in stunned silence the day when the commission was announced that the Son of God would also become the Son of Man. Jesus’ response to the Father was, I delight to do your will, O my God (Ps. 40:8, ESV; Heb. 10:4–10). Receiving the commission to come to earth as our Savior—the most difficult of all commissions—Jesus yields in delighted submission. The Father has sent. He will go.

Do you see the power of Jesus’ words? “In the same way that I was sent from heaven by the Father to you, I’m now sending you. I come from a sending Father. Now I am the Sender. You are commissioned to go.”

About six weeks later, Jesus would leave them with similar words, All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations . . . (Matt. 28:18–19).

Here again Jesus launches His followers using the strongest of language. “There is no other or competing authority. I am now the source of authority throughout heaven and earth. On that basis, I’m sending you to the world.”

And so history’s most powerful movement is released. The weakness of the cowering beginning only serves as further evidence of the commission’s significance. The Church that would arise would outlast governmental coups, famines, world wars, plagues, and the worst the world could concoct. The Church that the few disciples invested their lives into would grow to become the world’s largest family of faith. Its holy book would become the world’s all-time best seller. The Lord they loved and preached would be cherished in the hearts of billions.

And it all began with a great—albeit, unlikely—launch.

Commission for the Alliance Family

Sometimes the word launch has been used in connection with the festivities associated with a massive ship being sent out from the docks. Relative to its vast size, the bottle broken on its bow seems miniscule. Yet with the ceremony complete, the ship sets sail.

The manner in which Jesus launches the disciples is the direct opposite. They are being sent out “to sail” for Him, but they aren’t humanly impressive. Untrained by society’s standards, being watched by the authorities, without great wealth or title, they appear to be a “rag-tag” team. The “ship” being sent out to sail looks more like a battered canoe.

Yet the significance of the “bottle” sending them off overwhelms their inadequacy. They are sent by the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. The world’s Savior and Coming King commands them into service. Their “calling card” can now read, “The Son of God commissioned me.”

The disciples are launched, and the world will never be the same.

On this matter, I have two great desires for the Alliance family.

1. I pray that we will sense the significance of God’s call upon us—individually and corporately. As His followers, we’ve received the same I am sending you commission. All authority in heaven and earth is still His, and He still calls His authority into effect as He commands you and me to go and make disciples of all nations.

The Jesus who commissioned Peter, commissions you. Hear the eagerness in His voice for you to rise to the good works, which God prepared in advance for you to do (Eph. 2:10).

As a whole denomination may we sense the significance of what He’s called us to accomplish together. It has become increasingly clear to me during my time as president that The Christian and Missionary Alliance is one of the end-times families that God has raised up to complete the Great Commission. Our place in His armada is vital. We must not drift off into some side eddy of passivity or self-focus. We have a divine assignment. His Spirit is eager to live through us.

Father, help us fully live out what You’ve breathed into us! You’ve launched us into Kingdom service. What a privilege to be called by You!

2. I am eager that those of us in leadership increasingly seize opportunities to encourage the launching of others. Local church elders and pastors, district superintendents and association presidents, college and camp personnel, others in various forms of leadership—may God use us to be way-makers for others who want opportunities to serve their King.

For a member of a minority population to get a chance to serve, someone from the majority population may have to “go to bat” for them. Or for a woman to have a place where her spiritual gifts are given space, a male in leadership may need to make a way for her. I’m grateful that as a young man, older leaders saw something in me and opened doors I could not (and should not) have opened on my own. May those of us who are now senior leaders continue to do the same.

I want to lead a movement that has heard the commission—As the Father has sent me, I am sending you—and believes that His commission is for all His disciples.

I long to see new waves of Jesus-loving, Kingdom-minded, humble-spirited, Spirit-dependent world impactors arise. Most will never gather a name for themselves, for it is Jesus’ name they want glorified. Many will never have a title other than the one they wear with greatest honor: disciple of Jesus. Some will be launched into unheard of places, knowing the sad fact that their new neighbors have not yet heard the name of Jesus.

Yes, I’m eager for The Christian and Missionary Alliance to increasingly be known as a family that sends, releases, and launches, believing that the I am sending you commission still resounds from Jesus’ heart to us and through us today.

As a Christ-centered, Acts 1:8 family, let’s launch.

1 response to We Will Launch

  1. “…for a woman to have a place where her spiritual gifts are given space, a male in leadership may need to make a way for her.”
    It seems that many men in leadership are too afraid of what might happen if they even just agree with this statement.
    I love the Alliance. I hope the day comes when women will be set free to do all God has called them to within this denomination.

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