TLBC serves Jesus by submitting to His will as instructed to us in the Bible.
Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:29-31 ESV)
If you look at the verse again, you’ll notice that the first part of the scripture is loving God. Serving Jesus is the first part of our mission because everything we do at TLBC is done with a heart to serve God. The Holy Spirit gives us a heart to put God first then also moves us to love our neighbors.
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20 ESV)
By the power of the Holy Spirit, we aim to make disciples and encourage them to grow in their faith by teaching each camper about Jesus’ love for them through His life, death, and resurrection. In Biblical times, a disciple was more than just a student of a teacher. A disciple would intentionally imitate the life and teachings of the master. A disciple was so closely tied to the master that when people were taught by the disciple, they knew they were being taught by the master. As Christians, our goal is to daily live every aspect of our life so that when people see and hear us, they see and hear Jesus.
Witnessing to the World
Jesus has given us all a mission:
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8 ESV)
In order to understand this mission Jesus has given us, we need to look at who it is He is asking us to witness to. Jerusalem was the center of Jewish life. It was home. It was where all Jews felt they belonged. When we hear that we are to be witnesses for Jesus in Jerusalem, He is telling us to be witnesses in our own homes, our own towns, even our own states. Judea was the surrounding region. Judea was made up of many Jewish towns and villages. Witnessing in Judea for us would be like saying we are to be witnesses in our country.
Samaria seems like a very odd choice in this mission. While the first two areas, Jerusalem and Judea, were home to Jewish people and thought of fondly in the Jewish community, Samaria was not. In fact, Jewish people so despised Samaria, if they had to travel from Jerusalem to north to Galilee, most Jews would travel out of their way to go around the land of Samaria, even though going through Samaria would have been more direct (special side note: when Jesus traveled from Jerusalem to Galilee, He went through Samaria). This is important for us to know today because we need to be reminded that Jesus gave us a mission to witness to everyone, even to people we may not like, be comfortable with, or consider part of our group. When Jesus sends us to Samaria, we remember that He wants all people to come to know Him.
Finally, Jesus sends us to the whole world. The ends of the earth. Philippians 2:9-11 tells us, “Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (ESV) Jesus came to save all people, so that those who believe in Him can live forever with Him.
At TLBC we encourage each camper and equip them to be a witness for Jesus wherever He may call them to go. This way we can share the awesome news of the saving power of Jesus with the world.