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  • Seth Springs

“I will go down, if you will hold the rope.”

WATERFORD – These are the words spoken by missionary hero William Carey as he kicked back off the ledge and rappelled into an unreached India. Carey was compelled to go where the rocks of countless souls had not yet been turned by the Gospel. But, for Carey to go and make any considerable dent in the darkness, someone would have to “hold the rope.”

In April, I had the opportunity to visit another location in South Asia where many rocks remain unturned. As I walked the streets of the city, I was overwhelmed by the mass of humanity in every direction, a city with more than 25 million people in a country less than 1% Christian. As the lostness ran through my mind, tears would run down by my face. It’s happening again as I type these words. So many people and so many stories. So much religion yet so little hope. Millions trying to make their way up to God, totally unaware that God came down to us.

Thankfully, there are those like Carey who’ve said, “I will go down…” In this city, I encountered families who had also kicked back off the ledge and rappelled into the unreached. It was amazing to see in a city of 25 million, in an absolute sea of souls, authentic relationships are being formed and substantial Gospel conversations are taking place. Years of days of faithfulness are stacking up on one another. Sure, we saw some sites. This know-nothing country boy even got to lay his eyes on some crocodiles. But the most beautiful sight was a small group of people giving their lives away so that the nations can know God.

There are those who’ve said, “I will go down.” Now, who will “hold the rope?”

You’ve probably heard the words of Matthew 28:19-20. The resurrected Jesus appears to the 11 remaining disciples and says…

“Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

On this recent adventure to South Asia, I was reminded that Jesus’ commission was not just for the eleven or the elite, this is God’s vision for every follower and every church: “Go and make disciples of all nations…” We all have a part to play. Some of us will be compelled to go down, while others of us must plant our feet on the edge of the cliff, shouting “we’re still here” and refusing to let go of the rope.

I may have given the hint earlier that I’ve still not recovered from my visit. If you’ve ever been on one of these “global engagement” trips, you know what it’s like to “see what you can’t unsee.” You’ve got to do something to reconcile your life choices with the lostness that exists around the world. With this mind, I want to share 2 questions that I’m still wrestling through and invite you to do some wrestling too…

1. What am I doing with my life?

Another missionary hero, Hudson Taylor to China, once said, “If in the sight of God, you cannot say you are sure that you have a special call to stay at home, why are you disobeying the Savior’s plain command to go?” I think it’s good and right, healthy and God-glorifying, to periodically ask questions like, “What does God want me to do with my life?” In a lost world full of dark places, where would the light of my Gospel-changed life shine the brightest?

2. What is my church doing with its life?

As a Pastor, I want to lead a church that matters in eternity. When I stand before Jesus, I don’t think He’s going to ask, “So, how many people showed up last Sunday?” Transformation Church must live for more. We have limited resources. Our moment in time is brief. How can our church leverage our time, money, and people to honor Jesus’ commission and impact lostness around the world? How can we make disciples, develop leaders, and then release and resource them to live out God’s calling on their lives? What is my church doing with its life? How are we holding the rope?

I’d like to close with a strategic prayer we’ve been praying at Transformation Church these last 3 years. It’s nothing fancy, but God is starting to answer it. Maybe He would lead you and your church to pray something similar…

“God, please allow us to participate in a Gospel Movement in Waterford, Oakland County, and to the Ends of the Earth.”



Thomas (Seth) Springs is Church Planter/Pastor of Transformation Church Waterford, Michigan. He and his wife Taylor have 3 children.


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