19 On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”20 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.”22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.”
What we have in this brief interaction are the marching orders for the Jesus movement. Verse 21 is the key, “As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” Everything changes here. The community of God representing the New Covenant would not be a staid collection of people. It would be a sent community.
Jesus marks his followers as sent ones.
He isn’t asking his people to do anything that he himself has not already done. Did you notice that? “As the Father sent me…” That’s right, Jesus himself is a sent one.
If we are to faithfully follow Jesus then we are going to need to live as a sent community. This means that everything we do in the Antioch Movement will need to be as reproducible as possible. It also means that we believe very simply that every member has within them the DNA of a local expression of the body of Christ.
What do we mean by this?
We mean that if the expectation is that you are a sent one then it means that God has placed within you everything you need to start a movement. We know this is true because of verse 22 above. Jesus has sent the Holy Spirit to his sent people.
For us to be the church then we must realize that we are sent into the world as Jesus’ representatives. Therefore, we will practice hospitality and seek to saturate our spheres of influence with the gospel. Living as the sent people of God drives us together as a community on mission and requires of us regular celebration for God’s great works.
To live out our “sentness” we need to be out in our sphere of influence. The challenge is to prayer walk your sphere of influence each week.