A few months ago I applied for and was accepted to a summer internship program called GenSend with the North American Mission Board (NAMB). Following the application process and leading up to my participation I was supposed to read the books Life on Mission and Tradecraft. I was assigned these books in late April, and in all honesty I was still reading Tradecraft in my hotel room the night before the program officially began. It was not for lack of interest, however, that I took so long to read a mere two books. These books are packed with intellectual knowledge and practical advice on how to start a new church. Not create a new set of beliefs or begin a new denomination, but to found a new location where the Gospel is preached and Biblical community is exemplified. You see, GenSend is an internship designed to help young adults who feel some draw to mission work have a chance to see what it looks like to plant a church. For six weeks I lived in one of the largest cities in North America, immersed myself in the culture there, and learned how to exegete the truth of the gospel to the people who lived there. Surprisingly to some, America is not as saturated with Bible-believing (and practicing) churches as it is sometimes assumed. Especially in more crowded metropolitan areas, there are people who have never heard of Jesus and know nothing about what is said in the Bible.
I would like to be able to tell you in a few short paragraphs what my time on GenSend was like, but I don’t think I will ever be able to get it down to that few words. I feel like I could write or talk for days without pausing and still come up with new things to relate. In a word, it was incredible. Every day I interacted with new people and developed relationships that had no precedent, and came home to a set of people who were thrown from various backgrounds into a similar situation. I experienced so much growth on a personal level, and watched as my teammates matured as well. The best way that I know to explain my time on GenSend with you is to invite you to the secondary blog I started as I was preparing to take this journey of faith: Brave Faith Adventure. I have not written here as much I would have liked to, but you can get at least a general idea of how I spent most of my summer from reading it.
As a result of GenSend, my priorities have shifted. The future that I now envision following my college graduation (in 9 months!) is much more likely to contain ministry or church-related work than a blog on which I inconsistently review books that I struggle to find the time to get through. As disappointed as I am to say it, I fear that my season of blogging at Leggings Are Never Pants may soon come to a close. I am not entirely certain of or content with this, so don’t say goodbye quite yet, but…I just have a feeling my focus and time will soon be needed elsewhere. I’ll see how this school year goes, whether I am able to find time to read and blog for fun in addition to completing my bachelor’s degree, but I am not going to push or stress over getting reviews out anymore. I am anticipating stepping into a more significant leadership role within the college department of the church I attend during the school year, as well as being more intentional with discipleship and engaging the culture and society around me wherever that may be and no matter how many churches there are within walking distance.
Yet, as I walk forward into a new adventure, I realize that this journey began with the reading of two good books. Certainly, these books are not for everyone; they have a very targeted audience in those interested in churchplanting and especially those who are young adults. Both fulfill their intended purpose though, and are not (too) dull along the way. For those who want to know more of the mindset behind everything, Life on Mission is excellent. If you would rather just have the action plan and read about the more practical tools of churchplanting, then Tradecraft is your book. Together they form an informative, cohesive duo setting the foundation for NAMB’s emphasis on individuals living for the mission of sharing the gospel every day in every situation. Both receive a solid 4 star rating.