Wayfinding Week 1

Wayfinding refers to the techniques used by travelers to discover unmarked routes. These techniques include but are not limited to dead reckoning, maps (earliest known maps are of the stars), compass, astronomical positioning or celestial navigation, radio navigation, and more recently, global positioning, also known as GPS.

Wayfinding has three components:

  • Set the course.

Where are we trying to go? You determine the destination and plan out the route to get there.

  • Maintain the course.

Constant recalibration and repositioning as you keep track of your position in relation to where you’re going.

  • Reach the destination.

I’m calling our series Wayfinding because it has significant parallels to leading a church.

The Bible clearly says we only reach our destination one of two ways, death, or the return of Jesus.

EXPEDITION NAME

Expedition - A journey undertaken by a group of people with a definite objective.

Logo - compass arrow - gives direction. Of course, compass arrows give direction.
“The Christian experience, from start to finish, is a journey of faith.”
- Watchman Nee

A disciple is someone who devotes their life to learning about and living for Jesus. To know and follow Him more and experience the life-changing joy of seeing others also follow him. This is the heart of Expedition… a group of people traveling on life’s journey, striving to live out the values and priorities of Jesus. 


Hebrews 11:13–16
[13] These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. [14] For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. [15] If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. [16] But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.

We have homes but this is not our home. We are people of the way, people on the move, traveling from one place to another. We’re compelled by a vision of what lies at the end of the journey. We know where we’re going.

Not where I used to be but not where I’m going to be.

The Bible is full of journeys. In the Old Testament, there are the literal journeys of Abraham, and Joseph, and Moses.

Hebrews 11:8
By faith, Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.

Israel’s Exodus and their Exile and their return to Jerusalem. A significant part of the New Testament is related to Paul’s missionary journeys.

They not only went on physical journeys, they also went on spiritual journeys.

Psalm 16:11
You make known to me the path of life…

Proverbs 3:6
In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

The book of Acts continually calls Christians people of “the Way.”


Practical Expedition Observations

1. Keep Moving Forward
Journey focuses on the process of getting there, not just the arrival. This is a process that continues throughout our life. We never arrive but we continually move closer to our destination. We are not who we used to be and not who we’re going to be.

The Christian life is not about fortress building. We never get to a place and settle in or hunker down.

We go with no intention of returning to our starting point and resuming our former lives.

The book of 1 Peter encourages Christians who are living as wandering travelers, as exiles. He encourages us to not make ourselves at home in this world but to long for our true home in the new world that is coming.

2. Have Hope and Faith
This journey is almost never a straight path. We often take detours along the way so that we get lost from our path. Along the way, we are sure to be tested as we negotiate a myriad of trials and temptations. “That wasn’t on the map.” We never know what is waiting around the bend.

It’s natural to wonder if we’re on the right path. It’s natural to wonder if the journey is worth it.

2 Corinthians 5:7
… we walk by faith, not by sight.

When you’re uncertain, you have to trust that your bearings are good and true.

3. Be Resilient
A journey implies challenges and adventures. There will be testing, and trials, and challenges. It’s a journey filled with hazards.

Sometimes it’s a peaceful meadow, sometimes a barren desert.

Jesus never promised that it would be easy and comfortable. There will be unforeseen obstacles blocking our path and hindering our progress. Inevitably, our spiritual journey will be blocked by some kind of crisis or challenge.

1 Peter 4:12
Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.

There may be something in the way, but you stay on course. The destination doesn’t change. You figure out how to work through it and how to go over it or get around it. You don’t let it hinder your forward progress. You don’t say, “I didn’t expect that. I guess I’ll just stop here.”

Too many people give up when something great is just around the corner.
4. Travel Together
Many journeys involve travel companions. Sometimes our travel companions accompany us on the entire trip, and other times, it's for a short season.

Because travel is difficult on our own and significantly easier with faithful companions. In community, we find encouragement and strength to continue.

“The journey toward Christ is intended to be a group expedition where we walk together as honest strugglers who believe the end point is worth any hardship. We share the life of Christ together and are called to nourish that life in one another.”
- Larry Crabb

5. Travel Light
Simplicity is a very helpful practice when traveling, and simplicity is also a very helpful practice when walking with Jesus through life. Maybe I need to jettison my attachment to some of my possessions. My own will. We can only carry the bare essentials. We discard whatever would impede the journey.

Hebrews 12:1
… lay aside every weight,

Our culture says load up. Take everything you can.


6. Invite Others
Inviting others into the way, to travel with us.
If we really believe, we would ask others to join us.
Come alongside in the journey. Walk with us.
Why people don’t evangelize?
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