I have been thinking a lot lately about what it really means to live with purpose, intention, and on mission as a follower of Jesus. Many of you may initially respond with something such as, "Oh, you need to read 'The Purpose Driven Life' there you will find out how to live a purpose driven life." I am not saying that is necessarily a bad book, in fact I have read it, but it is not exactly what I am referring to here.
I understand and recognize that my life has purpose, but what I have been challenging myself on is what if I lived everyday with missional intention. What would that look like? I look back on my own upbringing, which was a good one, but see that many times in my case we would do things to purposely avoid the "sinners" of the world as if we ourselves weren't sinners. The intentions were the best and we were doing what we thought best, but I often wonder how what we did was really living on mission and what it communicated to those around us.
So, what would not living with missional intention look like? Avoiding the large cities, in my case growing up that was Charlotte, because they are full of dangerous people who do bad things. Spend the majority of your time with "saved" friends and family because they are uplifting and only use Christian cuss words like shoot, darn, and heck. Oh, and of course you would have the occasional Christian family that you may secretly question their relationship with God because they have beer in their refrigerator. You make sure that your life is full of church activities, you speak "Christianese", and living on mission is something you get to do in the summers for a week in another city because they need Jesus more than the city you live in.
Now, what would living with missional intention look like? Instead of avoiding the cities, Christians should be flooding the cities, because they are full of sinful activity. Just in the past two years there has been a shift globally and now over half of the worlds population lives in these large cities and how will they ever know how to live differently if they are never told about Jesus and His love? Instead of spending the majority of your time with other Christian friends and family why not spend it with people who do not believe like you. Get to know your neighbors and not just the ones who go to church. Get to know these people, they maybe your own family, and pour the gospel into their lives.
My pastor J.D. Greear said this morning, "Most people have created a form of a functional universalism", referring to how most of us at the end of the day believe that as long as people generally live a good life and follow the rules of their religion then they are okay and will not spend eternity separated from God. I strongly agree with that statement as I look around at how most of us who claim to follow Jesus live our lives daily. The question I would like to pose to you then is are you living with purpose, intention and on mission or are you living a life in a bubble where everything is "Christian"?