Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Are You Operating As A Missionary?

Many of my conversations with other spiritual leaders revolve around movements and paradigm shifts within the church that change the world. Being a missional Christian is a phrase that often comes up, which I love what being "missional" means as long as it is correctly defined. A short way to encompass what a missional Christian is one who embraces their role as everyday missionaries. Truthfully this should be how all followers of Christ operate so my question is often, "Can you be an obedient Christian and not be missional?"

Part of my equipping role is to help others embrace their role as an everyday missionary and here are some of the common questions that I have been asking others and wrestling through myself.
    
1. How are you best leveraging your opportunities for authentic gospel-centered community?

  • If Sunday is the only time that you meet with your faith community then you do not have true gospel-centered community.
  • In the New Testament the church is compared to a family (household) that depends on another as we depend on Christ, which is countercultural, but reveals a gospel-centered life.
  • It is our responsibility to show people that they are hungry for biblical community.
     2. How do we have affective gospel-centered community?

  • It requires us to start by getting out of our "holy huddles" and to start seeing ourselves as everyday missionaries.
    • Every follower of Christ must embrace this and not see missionaries as only those that move to another country.
  • One way to do this is by staying focused on our neighborhoods and workplaces.
    • This is why I prefer a model that meets in homes throughout a city instead of on a Sunday morning because it more affectively allows us to take the gospel to our neighborhood and city.
    • Inviting people to church is good, but it is not sharing the gospel with them and you are mistaken if you think it is your pastors job to share with those within your realm of influence.
  • 1 Peter 2:5-6 (House made of Stone)
    3. Challenges to embracing your role as an everyday missionary in gospel-centered community:

  • At a moments notice you must be available to gather together with those in your faith family.
  • You see your homes as ministry centers for those in your community, not a retreat from them.
  • You view every interaction with each other as an opportunity to bless unbelievers within your midst. 
*It must be noted that embracing your role as an everyday missionary will inevitably put you into relationships that you may not always be comfortable.

   4. Do you know where the people in your city are gathering, what is their 3rd place?

  • Examples: Coffee shops, bars, clubs, etc.
  • Do you know what the people are discussing and what their interest are?
        What I am getting at here is that if you are to embrace your role as an everyday missionary that it will require you getting out in your community to build relationships with the people.

Each time I have discussed this idea I leave the discussion with a parting verse that is my prayer for those that embrace their role, which comes from 1 Thessalonians 2:8: "We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us." So let us stop gathering in our churches and take the church to the community we live in and embrace our roles as everyday missionaries!

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