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It is a tragic error to think that Jesus was telling us, as he left, to start churches, as that is understood today. From time to time starting a church may be appropriate. But his aim for us is much greater than that. He wants us to establish “beachheads” or bases of operation for the Kingdom of God wherever we are. . . .
. . . . As disciples of Jesus, we today are a part of God’s world project. But realization of that project, it must never be forgotten, is the effect, not the life itself. The mission naturally flows from the life. It is not an afterthought, or something we might overlook or omit as we live the life. The eternal life, from which many profound and glorious effects flow, is interactive relationship with God and with his special Son, Jesus, within the abiding ambience of the Holy Spirit. Eternal life is the Kingdom Walk, where, in seamless unity, we “Do justice, love kindness, and walk carefully with our God” (Micah 6:8). We learn to walk this way through apprenticeship to Jesus. His school is always in session.
[italics are Willard's emphasis]
So Paul took his stand in the open space at the Areopagus and laid it out for them: "I'm here to introduce you to this God.... He doesn't play hide-and-seek with us. He's not remote; he's near. We live and move in him, can't get away from him!" ~Acts 17