Why name a blog a dispatch? "Dispatch" is not a common word in today's vernacular. A "dispatch" connotes urgent news or immediate needs concerning a mission of critical importance. Rescue workers can be "dispatched" to a crisis scene. In theaters of war, official messages are relayed to frontline soldiers from field operations and from frontline soldiers to headquarters as a "dispatch." In World War I, England employed dispatchers on motorcycles to carry news of strategy and tactical moves, critical updates on progress, and urgent needs from the battlefield. Without the safe delivery of these critical messages, the tactical maneuvers critical to the war's success would have faltered.
It's that sense of urgency and collective priority for a critical mission that has driven us to title this blog a “dispatch.” Into this fray of eternal importance, we write this blog to equip us in the task of advancing the gospel and engaging our every effort in this cause. It is to a mission of unparalleled significance we’ve been summoned and “dispatches” are needed to align our efforts and see this war through.
A simple comparison will help us see why the connotations of earnestness bound up in the word “dispatch” make sense for a blog like this. Think of a large portion of the New Testament as Paul's "letters" and then contrast that with seeing those letters as "dispatches" from the frontlines of his pioneer missionary endeavors to the churches who were fueling those efforts and had a vested interest in the outcome of the mission. The casualness of “letters” between friends is replaced by the earnestness of real-time updates and tactical maneuvers and mission-critical information in a backdrop of war. Paul’s “dispatches” carry the news of his travel itineraries, his requests for supplies and prayer, and even his affirmation of Phoebe and other comrades, who were dispatched themselves to carry these updates to the different churches.
New Testament churches were not spectators of the war but deeply engaged in the same struggle Paul agonized to advance (Phil. 1:30). This was risky business for a church like Philippi. Being allies themselves with an imprisoned soldier because of the gospel partnership God had begun between them was no small matter. They even sent reinforcements to meet Paul’s needs despite almost losing one of their own, Epaphroditus, in the process (Phil 2:25-30). The letter, penned by Paul and narrowly delivered by Epaphroditus’s weakened hands, wasn’t read with the casualness with which we approach an email. It was soberly received as opposition to the cause was growing in Philippi and forces were splintering under the pressure.
"Dispatch" is a banner term over our blog that helps us stay alert to the cause we've been summoned to advance together and the wartime earnestness with which we should pray, partner, and prepare one another for the battle. The cause has implications for all arenas of life–from our finances to our parenting to even how we read the Bible. John Piper's, "Let the Nations Be Glad" infuses this mentality of the mission into prayer when he writes, "Prayer is primarily a wartime walkie-talkie for the mission of the church as it advances against the powers of darkness and unbelief. It is not surprising prayer malfunctions when we try to make it a domestic intercom to call for more comforts in the den" (45). We hope, "dispatch," as a title, re-sensitizes us to the eternal importance of the battle for the souls of men and destiny of nations which is playing out right here. Right now.
It's into this conflict and for the sake of the cause that we have started this blog with its overarching banner being "dispatch." We hope it enables each of us to "share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus" (2 Timothy 2:3). Our lives get so easily distracted from staying simply focused on pleasing the One who enlisted us. We hope it enables us to "not get entangled in civilian affairs" (2:4). It’s too easy in our affluent age to forget the cause we’ve been graced to advance together.
Now you might be thinking, "Do I really need one more thing?" And that's why we believe "dispatch" is the right term for this. This blog will relay information critical to our mission. The Global Dispatch uniquely applies to us as we've been entrusted with advancing the gospel together as The Church at Brook Hills. This is no "domestic” Pinterest blog to pad our lives or clutter our already crowded minds with another post.
We end every gathering with our marching orders, Brook Hills: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me, go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations…” (Matthew 28:18-20).
What if these dispatches declutter our lives so pleasing Him who enlisted us becomes our all-consuming passion? What if these dispatches resensitize us to the eternal significance of our mission together?
Let’s go do battle together, faith family. Look for new “dispatches” every two weeks.