Jesus spelled out the geography of the Great Commission with a simple word, “Go.” Just as he came into our world (the result of a heavenly “go”) so he calls us to “go” into our world. If he had stayed home, all of us would be lost. If we stay home, the world could be lost.
We tend to change the geography of “go” in at least two ways.
One is we say, “Come.” We invest our money in buildings and invite people to “come” to us. We follow the model of the baseball movie that said, “If you build it they will come.” People might come to a stadium, not many of them come to our church buildings. “Come” may have its place, but not without a “go.”
The other way we change the geography comes when we say, “Go away.” Sometimes when people do come, we either directly or indirectly communicate some lack of welcome. They don’t come back because they got the message, “Go away.” The family of a two year old moved to a different country. The congregation where they had lived gave them “a going away” party. Their two year old called it “a go away” party. There is a difference. Confusion is common. In response to our “come,” our guest may sense that they are not welcome after all.
Despite our tendency to alter the divine geography, the command still says, “Go.” Go pray for the world. Go fix the broken world. Go share the Good News. Go engage with the people around us. Go make friends of lost people. Go put in a good word for Jesus.
We don’t need GPS to figure out which way Jesus told us to go.