My journey of life on mission began my sophomore year of collge. As a 19-year-old student, born and raised in Texas, I heard the need for the gospel in urban areas of North America and was shocked.
I mean I knew not everyone was a Christian, even in the south, but to hear that there were and still are unreached people groups in my own country blew my mind. My heart was drawn specifically to Salt Lake City, Utah. I began to pray about what my role in Salt Lake City would be, asking God why he laid these people on my heart, and what I was supposed to do about it.
I read Romans 15:20 where Paul writes, “and thus I make it my ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named, lest I build on someone else’s foundation, but as it is written, ‘Those who have never been told of him will see, and those who have never heard will understand.’” In reading that I knew I needed to dedicate my life to reaching people who did not know the gospel in Salt Lake City.
I spoke with my college pastor and made him aware of the burden God had laid on my heart. A few months later I got an unexpected phone call. My pastor was at a NAMB college conference and there was an opening in Generation Send to be a campus mobilizer. That is how I got into the farm system. I spent the next semester recruiting a team of college students from my school and surrounding areas to spend the summer with me in Salt Lake City helping church planters. My life changed that summer.
The Life Change
You see, living with church planters for ten weeks showed me that being a Christian is about much more than attending church, reading my Bible and praying. All of these things are essential to the walk of a believer, but being a follower of Christ means opening up every single area of your life to not-yet-believers and sharing the love of Christ with them.
For us it meant riding public transportation to get to know the people in an area, taking a stranger out to dinner and buying her groceries, and having church in a park to reach more people. Life on mission goes against our natural instincts as humans. We must live outside of our comfortable homes to impact those around us.
After my summer with Generation Send, I planted my life in Salt Lake City. I began school at the University of Utah and lived with a church planter’s family and transitioned into a church-planting intern. My then fiancé, now husband, was planning to join me in January after we got married. Being a church-planting intern opened up my eyes to how desperate the need for the gospel is in urban areas.
In the conversations I had with people I met, I noticed how desperately people long to be loved and included. The very essence of church planting and living a life on mission is reaching out to the woman next to you, the man you see on the train everyday, or the coworker that is hurting and extending love to them.
I was called home to Texas unexpectedly with the death of my father in October, but what I learned from my time in Salt Lake City radically changed my entire life view. There are people that I pass everyday that need to be loved and need to be told about God’s plan to save them.
I am a junior high coach now, and I am constantly reminded of the need for the gospel in myself and in my students. I have learned that God desires for us to be on mission no matter where we live. My husband and I thought we would be living in Salt Lake City right now, helping with the foundations of a church plant.
But God has shown us that we are here, still in Texas, for specific reasons right now, even though our hearts long for a valley in Utah. I had the honor of leading two of my students to Christ, and all praise and glory be to God. Living missionally is about your heart being obedient to God and to his Word—not about where you live.
My husband and I are so excited to move back to Salt Lake City this summer to continue as church planting interns. We will be a part of a church plant in Sandy, Utah, where my husband will be the worship leader. We are so excited about the relationships our church is already building, and we cannot wait to join them this journey. We ask for your prayers as we seek the Lord and His plans for our church.
Published March 31, 2015