The Pane: Continuing to Cultivate Our Missional Presence


ing to follow you,” Peter confessed to Jesus. You see, the disciples had just witnessed Jesus’ conversation with a wealthy young man who proclaimed he would do anything to inherit life eternal. Upon here this, Jesus called him to consider the commands. But when the guy told Jesus that he had lived them out perfectly, Jesus said to him that he should sell all his possessions, give the money to the poor, and then follow him.

The disciples were shocked by this. They began reflecting on their own lives and the jobs they had left behind. How much more could they give away if Jesus was asking this man to give away everything.

But they missed the point. It’s not about what you give away but what you are receiving. Unfortunately, sometimes the things we value the most prevent us from finding life to the full, true life through Jesus.

Since the disciples were willing to follow Jesus in faith, they received an extraordinary invitation from God to transform the world through the loving grace of the Good News of Jesus. Thus, they had the brilliant task of teaching everyone about the way of Jesus that brings life to the full.

And for those of us that see just how remarkable their impact was through the letters of the New Testament, we can’t imagine doing the same.

As one author put it, “Jesus was not inviting these fishermen into a church job or an engaging hobby, which is how many of us understand vocation in the Church today. If we are not careful, our in


grained expectation of a professional class of clergy will quickly sabotage our ability to understand the ministry of Jesus and the disciples.”

UBC has a rich history of being the presence of Jesus in Baton Rouge, whether through the partnership at Highland Elementary or teaching English to international students, repairing bicycles for those experiencing homelessness or collecting necessary supplies for disaster relief victims, seeking justice for the equal rights of all members of our community or providing freshly harvested crops for local families in need.

In missions, we become the presence of Jesus in the world by meeting the needs of others.

As we continue to cultivate our missional presence in the community, we want to invite you to be an active participant in this good Gospel work. If you are part of a Spiritual Formation or Sunday School group, find ways for your group to meet the needs around you, whether through organized UBC opportunities, partnerships in the community, or organic opportunities you’ve discovered. You can also serve individually through some of our mission partnerships, learning more at https://www.ubc-br.org/missional-ministry.

One unique way we are cultivating our missional presence is through Missional Sundays. Beginning in 2022, we will utilize the fifth Sunday of a month to worship by serving our community. Opportunities will be organized for all ages and abilities to be the presence of Jesus in our community during the Sunday School and Worship hour.

If you would like to be a part of the planning team to discern and cultivate those opportunities, I want to invite you to reach out to me via phone (225-766-9474) or email (andy@ubc-br.org).

Let us celebrate the good work God is doing through us and vigilantly look for new opportunities to be the love of God to our neighbors.