“Missional living” is a Christian term that describes a missionary lifestyle; adopting the posture, thinking, behaviors, and practices of a missionary in order to engage others with the gospel message.
“…adopting the posture, thinking, behaviors, and practices of a missionary…”
What comes to mind when you think of living a missionary lifestyle? What are the hallmarks you would use to identify a missionary? Would they be geographical (where they live), financial (asking people for money), or cultural (someone standing up in front of church presenting tales of conquest and struggle)?
Regardless of what you would use to identify a missionary, none of us can get around the fact that Jesus instructed us all, at all times, and in all places to be making disciples “baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.”
And yet, with all of this talk about mission, it occurred to me that there are probably two major hurdles preventing you and I from engaging in the Missio Dei, that is, the mission of God:
1) Mission seems inaccessible to “regular” people like you and me, it is really just work to be left to the professionals.
2) We don’t really know “what to do” to be on mission.
The first of these hurdles has been a problem in churches for centuries, and we probably all would admit that shifting the responsibility of our call to be making disciples to the pros is not God’s desire for our lives.
The second hurdle however is a bit more complicated and has a lot to do with how we think about mission.
Often, when we think of being sent out on Mission, we immediately begin to think of what are we going to do to somebody. Will we feed them, clothe them, employ them, etc.
That said, when you hear that we should leave the doors of SMR on mission, do you find yourself asking yourself, ok, but what can I do?
I know I have. And at times, it can be a bit discouraging to think about my lack of opportunity or ideas about how to reach my lost neighbors with the Gospel. Especially when mission has to compete with the following: job, kids, house, friends, T.V., sports, weekends, school, reading, errands, the gym, church, email, meals, books, family, birthday parties, weddings, vacation, texts ……………..
So yes, in the paradigm of mission being something or an activity that we must shuffle into our already full lives, doing something else can seem like an insurmountable task.
But what if mission was less about what we can do, and more about what God can do?
Perhaps, when we approach a situation having no idea about what to do, God is drawing us closer to the reality that it is He who rescues and we have been given all of the tools we will ever need to be able to live on mission.
And so, that’s why a bunch of us non-professionals gathered this past Wednesday to do mission in the neighborhood around the church. What did we do? Simple really. We prayed…and walked.
That’s it. We walked by homes asking God to save those inside. We asked him to provide opportunities to say hello and maybe even make an initial introduction. We asked Him to save every member of every home on the streets that surround us.
Maybe in the way that we think, we didn’t really do all that much. But I think, given the way that God has chosen to save His people for thousands of years, He may have done more than we could ever ask or think.