Moving for the Gospel

I was away at a wedding this weekend, so on Sunday found myself in a different church. As part of the service, one of the elders and his wife were explaining about their preparations for a church plant later in the year in a neighbouring country. They're going to be selling up and leaving behind their life in the UK in order to take the Gospel to people in the world's least evangelised English-speaking nation. And they're not going alone. Already there is a small core team ready to move, and they're still praying for more people to go too.

Then, after they had shared some ways people could pray for their move, the speaker came to preach. He was a guest speaker who had moved to the city to plant a church. One man was moving away from the city for the gospel; the other had moved to the city for the gospel.

I know some other people who haven't moved so far in distance, but have still made a big move for the sake of the gospel. Having been students here in Leeds, they wanted to serve God here by reaching out with the Gospel to people in Leeds. So, after graduating, they got jobs in the city, got houses in suburban Leeds, and started trying to reach people with the gospel in the inner city. It didn't work. And then one day a minister pointed it out to them, and they realised he was right. So they moved away from suburban Leeds, and moved into a much less nice area in the inner city, joined an inner city church, and kept reaching out with the gospel to people in the inner city. But now the inner city was their home and the people were their neighbours.

If we're truly to seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, that means submitting where we live to His rule. The readiness to move for the sake of the Gospel demonstrates Christ's Lordship. Perhaps we take it for granted that ministers will move and be moved, both around the country and even around the world, according to God's purposes. But how often do we take that into consideration about where anyone else lives?

Last month, Evangelicals Now ran an article by Kenneth Brownell entitled 'Should you move and join another church?' The article isn't about moving churches, but a much more radical move than that: 'one thing that could help is if some Christians would seriously consider relocating to the inner city.' Moving house, so as to move church and help reach out to a new community. The Urban Pastor has expanded a bit on Kenneth Brownell's thoughts and gives some examples of people who have done this very thing.

But let me just leave you with the question, how do/did/will you decide where to live? When it comes to location, location, location do you seek first the kingdom of God?