Gatherers have been around for about 2,000 years (and more). Gatherers have been used to start churches for about 2,000 years.
How pervasive is this gathering to Jesus’ mission idea? There are fourteen Greek words that translate the semantic concept in the NT of ‘gathering to mission’ (Gathering to Mission, p. 42). These fourteen words appear 113 times. 86 of these occurrences refer to gathering to Jesus’ mission – which is what a gatherer does (Gathering to Movement, p 57).
The job a gatherer does for us is gather people into Jesus’ mission. These occurrences are all throughout the NT. The concept is truly the fabric of the NT. One verse sums it up well:
Matthew 12:30 – He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters (NASB)
This verse is found in a hard context, the unpardonable sin. In the midst of this Jesus challenges all those listening to understand – all of us have the job to gather to His mission. The word translated ‘gather’ in Mt 12:30 is the dominate word used to communicate the idea of ‘gather to mission’ – sunago. This defines the type of gathering He is referring to in this difficult passage.
All of us are gathers to some degree; but some of us are VERY good at it! So, lets all gather!
Questions to consider:
Who is there you are able to gather to Jesus’ mission?
With whom else would you like to gather people to Jesus’ mission?