“Moses was faithful as a servant in all God’s household, as a testimony to what would be said in the future. But Christ was faithful as a Son over his household. And we are that household if we hold on to our confidence and the hope in which we boast.” (CSB – Read the chapter)
Have you ever been a part of something? I’m sure the answer to that question is yes. What that something looked like is going to vary, but you’ve been a part of something before. My interest isn’t so broad as that. Have you been a part of something big before? A movement perhaps? You may not have realized it at the time, but looking back, you can see more clearly. Often a movement like that only happens with a leader. And while there may be more than one leader in the movement, there’s always one person who’s at the top. As we continue unpacking Jesus’ relationship to the old covenant, let’s talk about His leading a movement.
I went to college starting in 2001. I was always going to join a church and get connected with a campus ministry. It was a question of which one, not whether. The church question was solved before I had been there a week when a guy from my hometown whose parents knew mine and had been alerted to my coming and that I played the drums, invited me to play for the praise band at Hamilton Street Baptist Church where he was serving as the contemporary service worship leader.
The campus ministry question took a little longer to sort out, but before too long I had landed with the Baptist Student Union, again because I was a drummer, and drummers (especially Christian drummers) are always in high demand among campus ministries. I happened to start connecting with the BSU in a season when a group of visionary student leaders were planning to launch a new outreach effort called Damascus Road.
Inspired by the seeker church movement out of places like Willow Creek and Mars Hill Church (Rob Bell’s church, not Mark Driscoll’s), Damascus Road was something new on campus. It was designed from the ground up to be comfortable for folks who hadn’t started a journey with Jesus—who maybe hadn’t even considered one or even didn’t want one. We played popular music right off the radio, included dramas and thought-provoking skits, and presented teaching that was solidly biblical while striving intentionally to be relevant to the lives of the community.
And it worked. Really well. We launched in the tiny basement of the BSU building and expanded each of the next two years into other local storefronts in town. Students came by the hundreds. We were the hot ticket on campus. Our house band started playing shows at various on-campus events by my senior year. It was a ton of fun.
But it wasn’t just fun. Those same visionary leaders didn’t just plan services. They lived what they taught. They intentionally shared their faith and led discipleship groups and mentored individuals in the faith. Students came to know the Lord who wouldn’t have otherwise encountered Him. A group of them eventually graduated and moved en masse to Tucson, AZ where they planted a church called…Damascus Road…on the University of Arizona campus that is still impacting students today.
I am immensely proud to say I knew all of those guys and got to be a part of something. Under their leadership (and the truly excellent leadership of our campus minister, Gene Austin), a huge group of students over that four year span are now involved in ministry directly in a church-staff setting (including me), or are otherwise serving the Lord faithfully in their local church. I dare say you would be hard pressed to find a four-year period that has seen as much Kingdom fruit come out of it as that one has in the last generation.
There’s just something powerful about being part of a movement. And yet, as powerful as that particular movement was, it is nothing when compared to the movement of Jesus across the last 2,000 years of history that is the church. It is not a stretch to say that every single positive change in the world over the past two millennia has happened because of the church being the church. Every single significant advance in science, medicine, women’s rights, social welfare, human rights, anti-slavery, economic justice, racial reconciliation, education, child welfare, pro-life, and on it goes, has been a product of the Christian worldview enacted.
And here’s the really powerful thing to consider in this moment: you can be a part of that movement. Perhaps you already are a part of that movement. You, living your normal life in your unremarkable community pursuing your average job and doing all the other regular things you do can be a part of the single most impactful movement in the history of the world. What’s more, you can be a significant part of it. This won’t be because you are so incredible or indispensable on your own, but because you are serving an incredible God who can do incredible things through you if you’ll let Him. You simply submit your life fully to Him and follow His way of life faithfully.
All those times you flirted with—or even simply embraced—the idea that your life doesn’t really matter was one of the least honest moments you’ve ever lived. This movement has had several leaders over the centuries from Moses to even your own pastor, but Jesus is the one who is over them all. If we are following Him first, all things are possible.
So, what are you waiting for? Why live a second longer than you absolutely must merely pondering purpose instead of embracing the grandest, most glorious purpose there has ever been? Jesus is still leading His movement, and when you give yourself to Him, you will be a part of it too.