Missional Living is the Only Way to Live
Weíve been talking about living our lives missionally over the past few weeks and Iíve got to tell you that itís really the only way to live our lives! We were made for a purpose. We were put here for a reason. We have a choice to use our lives as an investment into the lives of those around us - or just spend our resources on ourselves. There is little value in life that results when we only invest only in ourselves.
One key thing that we have to keep in mind as we develop the disciplines necessary to live missionally is that our desire to care for others must flow from a relationship with Jesus Christ. The disciples were identified as Christians because of the time they spent with Christ. Others were able to look at them and see that they were far different from those who werenít with Christ. We have the chance to show that same difference. Every area of our lives should flow from a different source, with a different purpose, with different decisions than those who are not following Christ.
We have to build friendships with others in order to have an influence over them. We live in a relational culture. People want to know you before they listen to what you have to say. Steps that you can take to get to know others are great investments for the Kingdom of Christ. You can do this through joining things like sports, clubs, community gatherings, inviting people to your house for dinner, and finding other ways to get to know people - or you can just intentionally leverage the relationships that you already have to share the Gospel message with them.
To live missionally you absolutely have to learn to listen to the Holy Spirit and trust His leading in your life. There's no other way around it! How do you hear the Holy Spirit? He speaks through His Written Word, through prayer, through worship, through reading books about God, through being with other like-minded Christians, through circumstances, through visions, and through dreams. Really, there is no limit to HOW God speaks to us, there is only a limit to HOW WELL we listen to Him. Do you need to learn how to better hear from Him? Be around those who regularly hear from Him and ask them for help with this. This is a great chance for the Body of Christ to build each other up and help them grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ.
Another step for you to take is to change your mentality of the purpose for all of the relationships you have with those around you each and every day. Do you look at the person next to you in line at the grocery store as a person God has placed there for you to bless? Do you realize that the phone call or the Facebook comment can be a great opportunity to speak Godís truth into someoneís life? Do you live your day looking for ways to bless others? Do you take a personal responsibility towards your neighbors and friends?
Check your calendar. Are you so busy with things at church that you donít have time to invest in the lives of others outside of the four walls of the church? Being at church in essential, but we are spending too much time at church if we're not allowing what we're experiencing there to affect the lives of non-Christians around us! Iíd like to see people come to church once to receive teaching and once to serve others, but I would prefer that people are not at the church every time the doors are open. I certainly arenít there every time the doors are open!
Does our church attendance take us out of the world that weíre supposed to have an influence in? Iíd rather you take some time to invest in the lives of others and use the church as a tool as you disciple them into disciples of Jesus Christ who are going to make more disciples of Christ.
James E. Bogoniewski, Jr.