Life AS Mission

Identity in Christ informs how we ought to live.  Through the Gospel, we are a family of missionary servants.  Mission is not just something we do; mission is about who we are!    We are sent by Jesus and empowered by the Spirit to make disciples who make disciples.  But oddly enough, we are SENT into the normal, mundane, everyday rhythms[1] and activities of life.

 As sent ones we ought to continually ask God to draw people to Himself, to help us building relationships and connect people with our missional community.  I assume we would agree with the previous sentence, but where I think we get stuck is with where we start.  It seems to me that living out our identity in Jesus—living life as mission is overwhelming.  So let me try and give us some “handles” to help us begin living intentional as servant missionaries.

 Ask God to put into your heart 2-3 people / families (neighbor, co-worker, friend, etc.) who He wants to send you.  Ask Him to move in their hearts.  Often we neglect prayer—we often do not ask God what (who) He wants and we fail to trust Him to do the work through us.  But praying for people (by name) is one of the most loving things we can do for them.  It is also on of the most important.  Jesus said, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him” (John 6:44).  So if we want to be disciples who make disciples, we must be in the habit of asking God to draw them to Himself.

Below are 10 simple and intentional prayers[2] to help you focus as you begin praying earnestly for those whom God places in your heart, those whom He is sending you to, those whom He is intending to pursue through you:

  1. I pray, Lord, that You draw ____________ to Yourself (John 6:44).
  2. I pray that _______ seeks to know You (Acts 17:27).
  3. I pray that __________ hears and believes the Word of God (1Thess. 2:13).
  4. I ask You to prevent Satan from blinding ______ to the truth (2Cor. 4:4; 2Tim. 2:25-26).
  5. Holy Spirit, I ask You to convict ______ of his/her sin and reveal his/her need for Christ’s redemption.
  6. As You send me, I ask that You help me identify the opportunities you give me to share the gospel with_________ and the courage and the right words to do so (Col. 4:3-6; Eph. 6:19-20)
  7. I ask that You would send others to share the Gospel with ______ (Matthew 9:37-38).
  8. Lord, I pray that ______ turns from his/her sin and the idols of their heart (Acts 17:30-31; 1Thess. 1:9-10)
  9. Lord, I pray that _____ would submit to Jesus and put his/her trust in Him (John 1:12; 5:24).
  10. Lord, I pray that ______ will confess Christ as Lord of his/her life, be rooted in the gospel and grow and bear much fruit for Your glory (Rom. 10:9-10; Col 2:6-7; Luke 8:1).

Build a relationship with someone is the best way to discover how to care for them personally.  This is as simple as finding something you like to do—and do it together.  As you build the relationship you will discover tangible ways to love that person as an expression of God’s love for them.  Think through some simple ways you can strengthen your relationships with the people God has put on your heart? 

Experiencing Christian community is important for helping people get a clearer picture of who Jesus is.  Every disciple has different gifts from the Holy Spirit and God intends to use them all.  Discipleship never happens in isolation.  Discipleship happens most effectively in community.  How can you create opportunities for the people you have identified to get connected with your missional community?

As we ask God to draw people to Himself, build relationships, and connect people to our Missional Community, opportunities will arise to show and share the good news of Jesus with them.   

How do we show and share with them Jesus?  Primarily by serving them and meeting their needs, just as God has graciously served us and met our needs through Jesus.  We are Servants!  Serving others is a tangible way to express God’s love for others and it is how we ought to live out our Gospel Identity.  But there are other ways to show Jesus as well.  Ask yourself, “What has God done for me that I can do for others?”  When we forgive because God forgives us, cancel debt because God has canceled our debt, enter into someone’s mess because Jesus has entered into ours, we are showing the good news of the Gospel.  And when we show God’s love through our actions opportunities will open up to us to share His good news with words.  The greatest need people have is to be reconciled to God, to be forgiven of their sin, and to be adopted as His child forever.  That only happens by hearing and believing the good news about Jesus.  So it is incredibly important that we show Jesus and share Jesus.  So let us, together, help one another ask God, build relationships, and connect people to community in order to show them and share with them the good news of Jesus.

Grace be with you,

Andy

[1]“Rhythms” is a term, coined by Soma Communities, that identifies six life rhythms present in every culture.  These rhythms are Story-formed, Listen, Celebrate, Bless, Eat, and Re-create.  For explanation about these visit www.somatacoma.org

[2] Adapted from Neil Cole’s book Cultivating a Life for God. Chapter 8.