I am a missionary. Where, you ask? Everywhere, but mainly in Parker, Colorado.
The Lord called me from Lutheran Brethren Seminary to Arvada, Colorado, where I would serve eight years at Community In Christ Lutheran Brethren Church. Having grown up in the Midwest, a move to Denver wasn’t easy. Especially when most of my family and friends remained in the Dakotas and Minnesota. Now, I am planting New Hope Church in Parker, a community in the southeast corner of Denver.
The journey to the present has been a series of steps through doors of the Lord’s calling. From the start, there were moments when I would ask myself, “Lord, why did you call me here?” And the Lord’s answer was consistent. He would put someone in my life for me to disciple. First it was Mike, then Eric, then Aaron. After that, I met my wife Savanna, and we began a relationship that will last the rest of our lifetime. From there the list grew. Some people would connect with our church, some in our home, others at the school where Savanna works.
The Lord’s path soon led us to an open door to the community of Parker. Savanna worked there; I began volunteering there; and we began connecting with families. Fast forward to the present, and we have two discipleship groups meeting on a weekly basis.
When I look back to where this all began, I can’t help but think of Lutheran Brethren Seminary. There I was taught to be not only a pastor, but a missionary. In fact, these aren’t two callings, but one. And it’s the same for you. Pastor is my vocational calling, just as you have a vocation. Missionary is my missional calling from Christ himself, just as it is yours.
We were reminded often in our seminary missions class that the Christian’s calling is from Jesus himself. Prior to his ascension, Jesus’ calling is recorded in Matthew 28:19-20: “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, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Making disciples happens through the proclamation of the Word. And we have the joy of proclaiming it where we live, work, and play.
In light of that, I continually think back to a comment Dr. Gaylan Mathiesen shared regularly during those seminary classes. He would remind us, “The world has come to us. Our mission field is in our back yard.”
Maybe you feel the Holy Spirit’s tug to start serving in your back yard mission field, but you don’t know how to begin. First, pray. If the tug continues, make a call to Lutheran Brethren Seminary. They want to hear your story and the calling on your heart.
You are a missionary. Go make disciples!
Rev. Jason Rogness and his wife Savanna serve the Church of the Lutheran Brethren as church-planters in Parker, Colorado.