I do not want to force an unnecessary dichotomy between outreach and inreach. A Bi-directional approach is both necessary and biblical. These “deviations,” represent movements and movers. The constant focus outwards often results in ripples without remembering the drop of living water which caused those ripples. Many get caught in the waves and ride those waves but often don’t understand why. Getting caught up in a movement is very different from partaking in a movement. An excessively outwardly focused movement often knows exactly where it is going, but its foundation degrades ever so slightly with more and more distance and some times neglects to acknowledge where it came from. This is demonstrated often by those who find great ease in ministering to those outside of their contexts and find great difficulty within.
Our spheres of interaction are always expanding and contracting. The size of those spheres are often determined by need. When others have need they come into our spheres, our churches, our community groups, and our homes. Likewise when we have need we enter into other’s spheres. Inreach, then, seems the most natural way of initiating a gospel work. It is like coasting downhill. Gravity draws inward. Again, I am not speaking against outreach, but trying to equalize the two by lessening the focus on the one. There are times when the natural rhythms are interrupted by supernatural desires and we have to be sensitive to those.
In ministering to others, we often have to “go find” where the needs are verses “already knowing.” This happens when we disproportion outreach. Think of it as filling a balloon with water. The more you put “in,” the bigger the balloon gets, the more internal pressure it has. Eventually the balloon will burst and the water is projected outward quite naturally. The same occurs within our spheres of influence. The more that are effected by the gospel, equipped to minister to others, and are encouraged unto good works, the more spiritual pressure exists. Eventually that pressure has to release itself and does so through expanding outward in outreach. There is a plant here where we work in the Cloud Forest of Ecuador that develops a flower of sorts that contains seeds the seeds are “spring loaded.” When the internal pressure of that flower is just right, it only takes the slightest touch to explode and send those life generating seeds outward.
These deviations, as I said earlier represent movements and movers, shifts in direction, refocusing, and in many instances going against the established patterns of artificial momentum. Each of us must decide within our own spheres as to whether it is time to “Get Out of Here,” or “Get in There.” I believe these deviations can be applied regardless of where you find yourselves and are reproducible regardless of your context.
In and For Him,