As we began to dream up renovations in our student and kids rooms at the church, I was struck by inspiration. A big beautiful mural representing all that Cumberland County has to offer, an image that our students would walk by each week and be reminded of one thing, Our Mission Field. That is what Cumberland County is, it’s our mission field. I love foreign mission trips and know there is absolutely a great need in going overseas to do ministry, however, there is plenty of ministry that needs done right here on our own soil.
Crossville isn’t just where we live, work, and play, it’s the mission field that God has uniquely chosen you to do His work in. I once heard someone say that the biggest church in Crossville, isn’t Grace, Cumberland Fellowship, Central Baptist, Revolution or any of the other amazing Evangelical churches in town. The biggest church in Crossville belongs to the Devil. Worse yet, I can see him recruiting from in our midst.
Look into the world, culture is quickly becoming anti-church and anti-God. To many, culture is very appealing. However, there are only two options, God or Satan. If we are fleeing God, then we are running into the arms of Satan.
So Child of God with a calling on your life (that’s you), let me brief you on your mission.
As of 2020, there were just over 12,000 people in Crossville with an average age of 36. Cumberland County as a whole is 62,000 people with an average age of 51. According to BestPlaces, only 50.7% of them are “religious.” Quick and dirty math tells me there’s about 31,000 people in Cumberland County who don’t know Jesus.
It’s easy to assume, especially in a small town like Crossville, that we’re all the same and everyone knows and follows Jesus. However, that is not at all true. Even in a small town like Crossville, where most people think the same, that doesn’t mean it’s a town of Christians. Every one of these people are created and loved by God, we see in 2 Peter 3:9 that God doesn’t wish any to perish but all to come to repentance.
You may ask, if God wants everyone to be saved, then why doesn’t He do something about it?
He did. He sent you.
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” – Matthew 28:19-20
If you follow Jesus then you have a calling on your life, this calling may look different for everyone but we are all charged with the calling of the Great Commission. That is to go out into the world and make disciples of all nations.
Not only are we charged with the calling of the Great Commission but we’re called to do so with love.
Love for God. Love for ourselves. Love for our neighbors.
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ – Matthew 22:37-39
- Love God:
- First, we must love God. When we love God, we will love His creation
- Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. – 1 John 4:8
- Love self:
- This one is overlooked but it says to love your neighbor, how? As yourself. You can’t love your neighbor if you don’t first love yourself.
- You are wonderfully created by the One who wove the stars into the sky. The one who made wind blow, the water move, the mountains rise, the flowers bloom. He made all that and still calls YOU His masterpiece.
- Love your neighbors:
- Love those around you. Not just the ones you agree with, not just the ones that are kind to you, not just the ones that benefit you, not just the ones you interact with daily. You are called to love ALL 62k “neighbors” in Cumberland County.
- “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” – John 13:34-35
There are 31k people in Cumberland County that need to see the love of Christ in you and hear the gospel from you. You were not placed here by accident, you are not a mistake, you are a child of God and a messenger of the greatest news on earth. He is with you ALWAYS.