By: Kevin Bussema, National YFC Core Director

My wife, Tara, and I moved from Southern California to Portland, Oregon just over a year ago.  People often ask us why we moved. The truth is, we don’t have a specific answer! It wasn’t because of some calling from Jesus or because of a job leading us into the area. We don’t even have any family or friends nearby. It was something “else.”

See...neither Tara nor I are white-picket-fence-type people (no offense to those who have white picket fences - they are very pretty). We just have a thirst for new adventures and lack the desire to “settle down.” We figured we should take advantage of this time in our life where our jobs are mobile and there are no kids in the picture. Truthfully, our biggest motivator in moving to Portland was the beauty of the place coupled with the creative and progressive culture.

The point in my writing is not necessarily WHY we moved to Portland, but rather to explain how we suddenly found ourselves in a strange, new place. Being that we love Jesus and want to contribute to our community, we arrived with the desire to invest in our neighbors, better our neighborhood and live missionally by loving Jesus and loving those around us. This is an ethos, a way of living, that is deeply seated in Tara and I.

Shortly after our arrival, we attended a church where the pastor challenged us in a way that brought fresh perspective to serving our community. He suggested that we learn to “be a guest” in our city.  He challenged us to learn the language of the city, listen to the needs of our neighbors and allow ourselves to be invited rather than always trying to play the host. To engage with others on their terms! Tara and I were both struck by this challenge and realized how often we see this very practice in the life of Jesus.  Here are just a few examples...

  • Luke 19 - Jesus is a guest of Zacchaeus, a sinner
  • John 2 - Jesus is a guest at a wedding
  • John 11 - Jesus is a guest of Martha and Mary

The list goes on...

Fast forward to today: Tara and I have now been in Portland for a year and we are so thankful we are learning the posture of being a guest; trying to listen to the needs of those around us as we discover how God is asking us to join him. 

Whether you and your family have lived in your community for generations or just days, try to take on the posture of a guest. Listen. Be invited. Let your neighbors show you where Jesus is at work in your city.

As the movement of YFC begins a new initiative around cities, we must be willing to become guests as Jesus did. Learn before you try to lead. Break the rules. Be vulnerable. Let the scandalous show you love. Let your community show you what is needed in your leaders. Be willing to abandon “strategy” for the sake of joining Jesus in what he is already doing.

comments powered by Disqus
Enter your search term and press the return key on your keyboard.