We Christians are urged to spread the news of Christ’s death and resurrection, and the hope it stirs up, as fast as we can.
Or are we? Actually I think we are pulled in two directions.
WEC is a mission in a rush. This is good. We want (as our founding documents spelt out) ‘the evangelization of the world in the shortest possible time’. This is a biblical idea. ‘Make the most of every opportunity’, as Paul wrote. Jesus told us to pray that workers would be ‘cast out’ into the harvest field. ‘Look forward to the day of God and speed its coming,’ says 2 Peter. It is scandalous that the universe has changed—Christ is risen— and many people have yet to hear.
However much we try to speed things up with discipleship courses or fast-track leadership, God takes his own sweet time with our souls and with his work.
At the same time, slow mission is also scriptural. Seeds take time to grow. Harvests await their season. No Christian has ever matured overnight. However much we try to speed things up with discipleship courses or fast-track leadership, God takes his own sweet time with our souls and with his work. God’s kingdom seems to me to move forward not like an army, but like a family, at the pace of the youngest child. Most of us spend ordinary days doing ordinary things. Are we just marking time? Or is the collective quiet goodness of God’s people in itself a force for transforming the world?
Urgency and patience— I think somehow we need both, and to celebrate both.