Wayfinding Week 2

There’s a phrase that’s often quoted on t-shirts and home decor signs.

“Not all those who wander are lost.”

The phrase comes from a poem in The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien.

“All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.” -
J.R.R. Tolkien

The phrase itself refers specifically to Aragorn the Ranger who spends his time wandering Middle-Earth. He wanders, but he’s definitely not lost. He knows his mission and he follows it with determination.

In fact, the clear message throughout Tolkien’s anthology is that every character in their “wandering” must journey with conviction and with purpose and that the stakes are high if they don’t.

Last week, I quoted Watchman Nee who said,

“The Christian experience, from start to finish, is a journey of faith.”  - Watchman Nee

There has never been a single person, other than Jesus, where every stage and every step of that journey was clear and methodical.

The story of Scripture, the story of the saints who have gone before us, our own story is that our journey of faith is not a Parade where everyone follows a pre-planned route. It’s not a military march where everyone walks in cadence.

There’s an awful lot of wandering and sometimes confusion and uncertainty and, as we talked about last week, the need to walk by faith.

This is why the first step of wayfinding is so critical.

Wayfinding… the ancient method of navigation used by explorers and travelers that’s still being used today.

  • Set your course.
  • Maintain your course.
  • Arrive at your destination.

In our wandering, it is absolutely essential that our course is set, that we know where we’re going. You can’t maintain a course if you didn’t first set one. You might get lucky and accidentally arrive at your destination, but the chances of that happening are very, very, very, slim.

Last week, I shared with you the definition of an expedition.

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

The definite objective is where we’re going.

So what is that?

  • The definite objective of Expedition Church… Making disciples who love God and people.
  • Why do we exist as a church? We exist to make disciples who love God and people.
  • What is our mission? Our mission is to make disciples who love God and people.
  • What is our purpose? To make disciples who love God and people.

Expedition Church is a group of people traveling on life’s journey with the goal of making disciples who love God and people.

That definite objective is a combination of what Christians have often called the two greats… the great commission and the great commandment. For the sake of time, we will only be looking at one… GREAT COMMISSION

The great commission could not be clearer. It’s not tucked away hidden in a corner of the Bible somewhere that we would have to go find it. It’s recorded five times in the New Testament: in each of the Gospels and at the beginning of the book of Acts.

Matthew 28:18–20
[18] And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. [19] 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 all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

A disciple is just a student. It’s someone who learns from and models their life after someone else.

A disciple follows Jesus, becoming more and more like Him. They devote their life to learning about and living for Jesus. It’s a life-long process. It's often messy, and clumsy and three steps forward, two steps back.
“A disciple is a person who has decided that the most important thing in her life is to learn how to do what Jesus said to do.... Disciples simply are people who are constantly revising their affairs to carry through on their decision to follow Jesus.” - Dallas Willard

This a command, not a suggestion. These words were given to every follower of Jesus. If I am His disciple, I am commanded to make disciples. If I am not making disciples, then I am not being the disciple God wants me to be. All disciples are called to make disciples.

Discipleship is not just a duty, it’s a privilege. Think about it. God allowing us to be his agents in the world… 
His representatives.
I want to acknowledge the elephant in the room. Most Christians are struggling to make disciples. As a whole, we have gotten off course.


The vast majority of Christians today have not been personally discipled.

We have confused conversion with discipleship.

He told us to make disciples not converts. This is what happens when we reduce the gospel to a message about how to get to heaven. It’s someone who has committed their entire life to following Jesus. A life fully surrendered to Jesus.

Many Christians are self-centered. We are more concerned with getting our personal needs met in the local church than we are with making disciples. We can easily become self-serving.

We have prioritized information over transformation. The church has prioritized teaching facts and information. Most Christians are educated well beyond our obedience.

We have shifted responsibility away from person to organization.

We are relationally disconnected.

Discipleship is not just with our words, but also by how we live.

1 Corinthians 11:1
Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.


We cannot passively make disciples.

“Aim at nothing and you’ll hit it every time.”

Disciple-making requires intentionality.

We are not doing as well as we need to as a church in terms of discipleship. That’s on me. We have to get better. We can get better.

I don’t want you to feel guilt, but I do want you to feel conviction. I want you to also feel inspired. You must do this and you can do this. Let me say it another way. We must do this and we can do this.

What would it look like?

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