The Gospel of Welcome is more than a message. It is a boots-on-the-ground movement to love people into the kingdom of God. To do that will take a new approach; one full of open arms and empathy. The Jesus movement died so that something else could spring up, and that something else is here.
Last Monday, Marti and I arranged a conference call with some of the people who were leading voices of the Jesus movement 45 years ago. We wanted to find out what had happened to them. Were their prophetic mantles hanging out to dry on a line somewhere, or were those mantles covering a new work, and if so, what was that work? What we found out was that, in every case, like new wine in new wineskins, something new had been born, and that something new was small … grassroots … close in, but thriving.
We found out, among other things, that Pat Terry was writing songs with songwriters in Nashville, watching the impact of the gospel through the relationships that formed around that. That Paul Clark was singing in clubs and house concerts, expressing his faith in non-Christian settings through songs of vulnerability and truth. That Mylon LeFevre was preaching the gospel and mentoring young artists. (“There are no hypocrites in rock and roll.”) That, like David in the Book of Psalms, Phil Keaggy was weaving the Spirit of God into music without lyrics. That Nancy Honeytree was learning to sing in Arabic so she could bridge a culture gap with the gospel. That Barry McGuire was announcing forgiveness because of what he himself had been forgiven of. And that Arthur Blessitt was still carrying a cross down the streets and highways of the world, talking to whomever wants to walk along with him about the only subject he’s interested in talking about — the only subject you really could talk about with a heavy wooden cross on your shoulder and rolling down the street — Jesus.
Sounds like a movement to me. A quiet, real, down-to-earth movement; but a movement nonetheless. As they did 45 years ago, these people are all operating as pioneers, and they are all spreading the news of grace — grace turned outwards.
People of the Catch, we are onto something. We are on the right track. We haven’t skipped a beat. We are right where we are supposed to be, but we won’t be here long, because we are on the move. We are done being just a daily devotional or a daily blog. We are citizens of the kingdom of God and citizens of the world, internalizing the Gospel of Welcome and teaching each other how to walk and talk it into our neighborhoods, our communities and our world.
Will you pioneer with us?
We are looking for 24 people today who will partner with us in bringing the Gospel of Welcome to everyone everywhere. Twenty-four people who will help start a movement that will cause people to run to Jesus and not away from Him. Twenty-four people who will be part of a miracle to look through the eyes of those around them — people who are saying, “I not only want to help John and Marti introduce the Gospel of Welcome, one-on-one, through the Internet, I want to BE the Gospel of Welcome to the people in my life each and every day.” Twenty-four people who, by committing themselves to regular support of the Catch, are saying they are putting their money where their lives are, on the street and in the world.
We are the Citizens of the Catch Community.