"Outside and up close"

"Outside and up close" -- does this describe how you relate to the people and the world around you?

This phrase really caught my attention. It was mentioned by Dwight Robertson, author of Plan A. He will be teaching a conference at King's Harbor in June. Plan A is about how all of us need to see ourselves as laborers in God's kingdom. As we like to say around KHC, no spectators!

Anyway, Dwight was talking to a group of us pastors, and he made a wonderful observation about the disciples' experience in the upper room (Acts 1-2). The resurrected Jesus had instructed them to wait in the city until they received "power from on high," which would be fulfilled on the day of Pentecost. They faithfully prayed and waited, sequestered in a room where there was a relative degree of safety and privacy. Dwight observed that this was the first time they had gathered for any length of time inside and away from other people. Jesus had done all his training in the field -- right in the midst of the people. His ministry, and his method of training the disciples, was "outside and up close."

It seems to me that the church should take this seriously. We would do well to spend our time "outside and up close." That is, we are to spend most of our time outside the church walls, mixing openly and confidently in society. And we are to engage on a personal level with whoever is around. That is, we are to be "up close."

"Outside and up close" -- does this describe your life?

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