A religious leader came to Jesus and asked him what the greatest commandment was. Jesus essentially said, love God with everything within you and love your neighbour as yourself.

(See Matt 22:36-40 NIV)

Our theme at Catch The Fire Scarborough for 2018 is: Loving Up, In and Out! And we are basing this on the Great Commandment. As we approach the re-start of church life this fall it’s time to revisit this theme, this focus.

Our Founding Pastor, John Arnott, has made popular the phrase, “The Three Journeys”. This is in reference to the three simultaneous love-relationships that every follower of Jesus must give attention to in life. The first journey is the Upward one and this applies to our relationship with God. We are commanded to love God with everything within us!  The second journey is the Inward one and this has to do with loving ourselves in a healthy, God-centric, not self-centred, manner. The third is the Outward journey and focuses on loving our neighbour into friendship with Jesus.

Historically, as a movement, we have been relatively good at the Upward and Inward Journeys.  We have placed great emphasis on receiving the revelation of God as a Loving Father and reciprocating that love. We have also specialized in healing the hurts of life so that we all walk in humble, healthy love as Sons and Daughters of Royalty. These truths came to us as the Holy Spirit was poured into our hearts during the heyday of the Toronto Outpouring.

However, we have not been good at the Outward Journey in the sense that we have not been compelled to reach out to our neighbour with the Gospel. The primary reason for this is that we have not had to be! When the Holy Spirit was poured out, people came to the church in droves from all corners of the globe. Over the course of 12 years more than 4 million people came to encounter the Holy Spirit. Many who came, stayed and the church grew exponentially in a short time.

Having said that, the Lord has been impressing on our hearts that this is the season when we get better at the Outward Journey.  We have heard the call of the Spirit and we want to obey. While continuing our joyful focus on the Upward and Inward Journeys we are making attempts at improving our stride on the Outward Journey – increasing our ability to impact the lives of our neighbour with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

This fall, we will continue Alpha, this time with the Scott Mission. We also have our friend Curtis Hinds, an evangelist, who is helping us uncover our passion and proclivities in the area of outreach so that we can develop some sustainable programs to touch our neighbour with the love of Jesus.

Will you step up to the plate of “Loving Out” and commit to growing in loving your neighbour at this pivotal time in the church?  Help us, Lord!