A Digital Nomad

I learned a new term this morning.  I am what is called a “digital nomad”.  I guess that it means something like “someone who instead of working in a traditional brick and mortar office, chooses to work in a nomadic manner and depends heavily on digital formats and devices to work productively”.  That is my very own, made-up definition based on what I have read about it.

It really describes several things that we have found true of ourselves in the last decade. 1) We really can live without a permanent or long-term house that would store lots of stuff we really seldom use or have a need for.  2) We really can be productive every day just by developing routines that we can practice no matter where we happen to wake up.  My daily routines do not change all that much except when I am dealing with severe jetlag.  3) We really feel free to pick up and move from here to there depending on how we see God moving us and what He is prioritizing in our life at the particular moment.  That does not mean that we don’t plan ahead or prepare.  But we have that down to a fairly easy process now.

We enjoy our life and the flexibility that we have.  We realize it is not for everyone but it sure suits us and the work that God has given to us.

What were you thinking?

I wonder if you ever thought about the definition of an “engaged Great Commission” worker.  We usually have other titles that we would use to describe someone like that – “M’s” with a variety of terms is just one of them.

Is everyone that witnesses for Christ to someone, in whatever environment, classified as an “M”?  In general terms, that is a very logical and Biblical perspective.  After all, the Acts of the Apostles chronicles the lives of everyday men and women who lived out their witness in some very challenging situation.  Many of them served faithfully in ethnically and linguistically similar contexts.  If you are one of those committed believers who is actively engaging in everyday witness in your professional and social community, I applaud you and admire you for your faithfulness.  Please don’t stop doing that!  Please don’t consider that to be a “lower calling”.  It is praise worthy.

I think that, for practical reasons, it is important to distinguish between the ordinary, everyday, hard work of evangelism and witnessing to people in whatever context we face as part of our daily life, AND the intentional efforts by groups of people (not just individuals) to take the message across significant cultural and linguistic barriers.  We are talking about the purposeful encountering of significant challenges and barriers that will need to be overcome with careful study and preparation before significant impact on the people group might be realized.  We are talking about the work of cross-cultural discipleship that will entail significant language learning challenges and worldview challenges that are not necessarily considered part of normal every day ministry of every believer, though maybe in some cases even for our local impact, such issues should be considered.  Generally speaking, for that purpose there will be some special training and preparation required.

My main point here is to give huge kudos to those believers who are doing every day work to bring relevant, impactful, Gospel discipleship to the world around them AND to challenge us that, without purposeful cross-cultural engagement, there will still be many places where the Gospel does not easily flow.  The intent of the Great Commission is to continually challenge our hearts with the realities of cross-cultural barriers to the message so that we are alway looking for the means and resources to move beyond the natural flow of the message to those places where intentional, cross-cultural, linguistically different, and ethnically challenging proclamation of the message and hands-on discipleship is needed.  When we look at the map of Gospel influence, it becomes obvious where some of those places are and it seems reasonable that the Church worldwide would be compelled to work together to influence the Gospel influence map.

Don’t you think we have that responsibility?

William Carey’s 11 Commandments

I have a lot to learn about sacrifice in 2017 but here is a place to begin.  Can I adopt the attitudes of one of my many heros of history?

If we, in our generation are ever going to have the impact needed on our world, we will have to begin with a commitment to sacrifice for the sake of the Gospel. It begins with everyday commitments. 


Wlliam Carey-b.1761-d.1834

1. Set an infinite value on immortal souls.

2. Gain all the information you can about “the snares and delusions in which these heathens are held.”

3. Abstain from all English manners which might increase prejudice against the gospel.

4. Watch for all opportunities for doing good, even when you are tired and hot.

5. Make Christ crucified the great subject of your preaching.

6. Earn the people’s confidence by your friendship.

7. Build up the souls that are gathered.

8. Turn the work over to “the native brethren” as soon as possible.

9. Work with all your might to translate the Bible into their languages. Build schools to this end.

10. Stay alert in prayer, wrestling with God until he “famish these idols and cause the heathen to experience the blessedness that is in Christ.”

11. Give yourself totally to this glorious cause. Surrender your time, gifts, strength, families, the very clothes you wear.

Listed in Christian History, Issue 36, page 34.