If that word doesn’t bring to mind the marathon board game that can divide family and friends – well, I’m sorry. You’ve missed one of the greatest joys and stresses of modern American life!
For the uninitiated, Monopoly is a game where you buy property and essentially take over the world… by rolling dice. Players start at a square named Go and have game pieces that make their way around the board to buy property, pay debts or make money. Each time you circle back to Go, the bank gives you $200. There are several ways you can “go to jail” though, and have to sit out of the game for a few turns.
One card that sends a player to jail says “Do not pass Go, do not collect $200.” Oh, the agony!
Of course, that’s just a game but unfortunately, we often treat the Kingdom Jesus came to reveal like that. We like those times when we get all the stuff out, have some fun and tears… then pack it all up until we want to play again. That’s never what Jesus intended His Church to be. His Kingdom is not an event or activity, it’s an identity.
We can’t fit Jesus into our lives when we want, put all the pieces back in the box and place it on the shelf until next time. Jesus said if we aren’t giving Him everything, we aren’t really following Him.
So what does Kingdom identity really look like? Some would say, social justice. Some would say liturgy and tradition. Some would say, unconditional love. None of those things are wrong, but we won’t really experience the abundant life Jesus promised without one simple thing. Doing what He said.
His final command to disciples, we as THE Church, started with go. Go make disciples. Of all people. Everywhere. That command was given about two thousand years ago. The world at the time had a few hundred million people. In 2021, we are bumping the eight billion people mark, and most have never even heard of Jesus. Why?
Could it be, that we simply “Do Not Pass Go?” With all the complexity of doctrines over the century, the meaning of that little two-letter word hasn’t changed. Go doesn’t mean stay. Go doesn’t mean do nothing. Go is a call to action.
Yet the statistics prove we haven’t really passed Go. We’re not collecting the benefits. It’s like we’ve been taken out of the game, like a Monopoly player lands in jail.
So how do we escape? How do we spread the Good News of Jesus as He commanded?
It all starts with Go! He never said stay comfortable and make disciples. He said, Go!
Who is in my circle of influence? Who is my neighbor that I can love? Where are the Matthew 25 poor, outcast, imprisoned, and sick that I can reach? It’s a lot easier to “stay” around those that are like me. But if we aren’t going the Kingdom won’t be growing.
For many years, I’ve looked for the right curriculum, the right model, the right method to actually make disciples. The answer was written in red letters the whole time.
Matthew 28:20a (NLT) Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you…
I can’t teach what I’m not doing. First, we have to be willing to just obey what Jesus said. Then just go. In the time it took to write and proof this article, nearly 10,000 human beings passed into eternity. Most never having heard about Jesus.
This isn’t a game, it’s eternal life or death. There’s never been a better time than today, to do what Jesus said.