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Pastor to Pastor

Together in the Thick of Foes

We are called together to be sent to the world.

And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ… Ephesians 4.11, 12

Life Together[1]
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945)
“Jesus Christ lived in the midst of his enemies. At the end all his disciples deserted him. On the Cross he was utterly alone, surrounded by evildoers and mockers. For this cause he had come, to bring peace to the enemies of God. So the Christian, too, belongs not in the seclusion of a cloistered life but in the thick of foes. This is his commission, his work.”

I get the impression that for some Christians in our day, the focal point of their discipleship is being together with other believers. They love to worship with their Christian friends, and they wouldn’t miss a meeting of their Bible study or fellowship group. Being a Christian is about being together with other believers in the Lord. And, as Bonhoeffer argued in Life Together, this is certainly true, at least, as a touchstone for our faith. But why do we come together in the Lord, if not that we might be equipped to serve Him in ministry out in the world, among the very enemies of God? Bonhoeffer understood the importance of this, writing as he did during a time when being a Christian in Nazi Germany was becoming increasingly risky. Remember that you, too, were once an enemy of Christ (Rom. 5.10). Yet the grace of God reached you in your enmity toward Him, broke your will, tore out your heart of stone, and gave you the Spirit of God and a heart of flesh to know, love, and serve Him. And how did that happen, except that some faithful disciple, refreshed from the fellowship of the Lord with other believers, bore the Good News to you, the enemy of the Lord, so that you, too, could know the freedom of life together in Him? Life together in the Body of Christ is not an end in itself, but as a means to the end of mission.

Meditate on John 20.21. How do you define your mission for the Lord at this time?

T. M. Moore

Mission Partners Outreach
Pastor, what if you could train two or three men to identify and begin working their Personal Mission Field, and then they, in turn, could train two or three men in your church – continuously? And what if you could do this with proven training materials, and for free? This is what our Mission Partners Outreach is all about. Watch the brief video introducing this effort (click here), then download the brochure, find a man or two, and get started equipping the men of your church for mission.

The Gospel of the Kingdom
One reason Christians aren’t more outspoken about their faith is that they aren’t sure they can articulate the Good News persuasively. Our book, The Gospel of the Kingdom, is designed to help rectify this situation, by providing a concise overview of the Gospel so that readers can gain the confidence they need to share the Good News with the people around them. This is an excellent tool to use with your leaders. To order copies for yourself and your leaders, click here.

I’m often asked how The Fellowship of Ailbe is supported. Our heavenly Father supports us through the generous and faithful gifts of those who benefit from and believe in our work. Does the Lord want to use you in this way? Please look to Him in prayer over this question. You can contribute to The Fellowship of Ailbe by using the Contribute button at our website, or by sending your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 19 Tyler Drive, Essex Junction, VT 05452. Thank you.

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

[1]All quotations are from Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together (New York: Harper & Row, 1954).


T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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