A friend of mine, Billy Mitchell, is now asking this question passionately and often. Why this question and why now? Having just returned from being in St. Petersburg, Russia for a week, he comes back to his normal, everyday context disoriented in the best of ways. Likely still challenged with jet-lag, he is envisioning, scheming, plotting (whatever you want to call it) ways to get back to the people in Russia. Also, he is looking to connect with the Russian community in St. Pete, FL. He is now known as the Russia guy because he talks about it so much.
He is leading his family in pursuing global agility as they seek to find ways to be able to make disciples of other nations. This includes pursuing a passport from Canada for his wife and now praying that his children marry people from other countries. Yes…he is praying for his children to marry people from other countries as he seeks to lead his family to have what Billy calls global agility—being able to move around freely in pursuit of being obedient to Acts 1:8.
Billy is where he is because he was where he was. Use of his passport to go to another people is now helping him to see things in a different way with a heightened passion. If individuals or the church are going to think and act like a missionary, then it is worth pursuing opportunities to be in a completely different culture where you begin to see things in a different way. The end result may be a new or renewed passion to reach people in another land and/or to reach those in your community. But immersing yourself in a cross-cultural situation will change you—I believe for the better.
One pastor, J.D. Greear, has made this a part of membership requirements at his church because he believes so strongly in the call we have to the nations. Why does he make this a requirement? Perhaps because he invested a couple years of his life in another part of the world sharing the hope of Christ.
Billy writes: “Can you live out Acts 1:8 without a passport? Sure, but why would you want to?” I agree. Get a passport and use it. It may make a difference in the lives of many people. It will definitely impact you.