Most Christians have nagging thoughts that they “should tell people about Jesus” but they don’t know where to start. Honestly, the first dozen times I told people about Jesus was on a stage not a sidewalk. The stage’s safety net guarded me from rejection in the form of strange looks and awkward goodbyes. Then, I learned a few forms to explain the gospel to strangers on street corners and awkwardness came close! Without access to the stage and not wanting to be another street vendor for Jesus, most Christians have opted out of the mission and reduced it to a nagging thought. However, in these recent years there’s been a resurgence of desire from the Church to be the church on God’s mission of restoring all things to himself. I believe we live in one of the most remarkable cultural moments to be the Church and God is calling his saints into the mission field of next-door neighbors, co-workers, and friends! We’ve got zeal! But how do we “live on mission”?
There are three weekly practices that, when present, often move our lives into the mission of God.
Engage the Gospel with Other Disciples
One, encounter the gospel in conversation and prayer with a fellow believer. Sounds un-missional! However, we don’t share or live in light of news we don’t hear. We need to hear the Good News, speak the Good News, pray the Good News, read the Good News, and sing the Good News to our hearts if we hope to share the Good News with our friends. This is why Sunday worship gatherings are so helpful, but also why gospel-centered communities (like missional communities) and discipleship groups (like DNA groups) are crucial! Each week, have a conversation with a christian about what God is teaching you, saying to you, and how you’re growing in the gospel.
Serve Your Neighbor
Two, serve someone around you once a week. Plan a way to be a blessing through words, actions, or gifts. Maybe your co-workers are slammed and you can be a blessing by buying or making their lunch. Maybe you can write encouragements to each of your team members. You could also rake your neighbors yard, or babysit for a young family. Basically, think about the people around you and think of ways you could be a blessing through meeting or need or simply demonstrating God’s grace! Don’t worry, you can even serve people wealthier than you.
Connect Relationally and Intentionally
Three, plan and spend relational time with one person each week. Think of the people in your life and the things they enjoy doing or do regularly and do it with them. This can be eating meals together, doing an exercise class, going on a hike, playing board games, having a playdate, going to a sporting event, or so many things. When you do this you’re deepening relationship simply by sharing experiences and time together. As you connect relationally, ask your friends questions about who they are, where they’re from, what they hope for, and listen as they share.
Through these regular rhythms you’ll begin seeing a love for the gospel for yourself, pathways for explaining the gospel to those around you, and you’ll discover many opportunities. More than anything, you’ll see your life of prayer for people around you grow. Your heart will ache to see resurrection in the souls of friends and the Holy Spirit will create a life of prayer for your neighbors and will empower you as you speak the truths of Jesus.
For each of these weekly rhythms, we’ve created a list of ideas to get you thinking and dreaming. Sometimes we need help being creative! We’ve also created a simple guide for Stepping into the Disciple Making Guide, the Disciple-Making Starter. We created a short video that will walk you through these resources a bit more.
What have been the most helpful resources for you as you live on mission with your community?