ABCs of Missional Living
When God makes us aware of needs around us, He is revealing his work and His will to us. Consider prayer walking (or prayer riding) your neighborhood to become more aware of what God might be showing you and to sense needs for which He has given you a burden. Move through your neighborhood asking God to show you needs –some of which you may have never seen before. Share those with your class.
God does not expect us to meet every need we see. However, when He burdens us about a specific need, then He is calling us to join Him in demonstrating His love and power to those with the need. As you move through your neighborhood, try to discern those things for which God might be giving you a burden. Consider forming prayer groups to diligently pray to discover the burden God is giving each person and maybe your class as a whole.
When God reveals His will to us, we must choose whether we will obey. Our choice reveals what we believe about God and the depth of our love for Him. Be careful of saying “yes” to God only when you feel equipped for the assignment. He may want you to experience His power at work through you, so you will grow in faith and come to know Him more intimately. Pray for boldness as a class for to seek what God may be showing you as you identify the burdens each of you identified in
We must do what God calls us to do. He may give assignments that use our abilities, experience, and wisdom; but He is
not limited by what we can do. It is God at work in us and through us that makes the difference in the lives of others. Consider working together as a class to start meeting some needs you identified and to which you believe God might be calling you. Sometimes people will join God on mission as a group or class. Some will find their passion. Try to involve your class in meeting needs in an ongoing partnership. Don’t let Satan discourage you if each person does not identify a burden/need. Sometimes a group or class is a great lab school or experiment to help others find their niche in ministry. Expect everyone to do something!
When we do our good deeds, we show the love of God to others. However, when we fail to share the gospel, we are no better than good people and organizations in the world that care about helping others. We must show love AND share Christ! Encourage class members to intentionally form relationships with people who may not know Christ. As a class, pray for these people by name.
When we allow God to love others through us and then tell them about the good news of forgiveness and life through Jesus Christ, many will come to follow Him as disciples. Those we lead to the Lord, we are responsible to teach to live for the Lord. Find ways to celebrate members being on mission, as well as lost people coming to know Christ as personal Lord and Savior. Just because someone joins your class or joins the church does not mean our job is done. Follow through when people
choose to follow Christ.
Jesus said, “My Father is glorified by this: that you produce much fruit and prove to be My disciples.”John 15:8 (HCSB). The fruit of a missional life is disciples who follow Jesus and lead others to Him. Disciples are disciple makers bringing glory to God. Celebrate as a class or church when people dare to live the missional life beginning in your community. Be careful to honor God and give Him and only Him glory.
If your class needs to discover where they are in terms of being on mission in your neighborhood, consider a simple evaluation. Sketch the chart below on a tear sheet (or label four tear sheets according to the four quadrants below). Cover the tear sheet with a blank sheet you will remove later. Give each person one sticky note. Tell them to list one thing the class does in your community. Ask people to go to the chart and place their sticky note in the quadrant that best describes that activity.
|Light but no Salt (sharing the gospel but no needs met)
|Salt and Light (meeting needs beyond the church AND sharing the gospel)
|No Salt or Light (caring for our own)
|Salt but no Light (meeting needs beyond the church, but not sharing the gospel)
Process what you see using the following questions:
- What does this activity reveal to you?
- Were you surprised? Why or why not?
- What can we do to insure we focus on meeting needs beyond the church AND share the gospel of Jesus Christ?
Brainstorm practical ideas encouraging people to begin with things they already love doing and places they already go on a regular basis.
Just get the conversation started. We must show and tell the love of Jesus Christ beyond the walls of the church.
Belinda Jolley serves as the Director of the Adult Ministry Office of the South Carolina Baptist Convention. Belinda and her husband, Steve, enjoy starting new classes at First Baptist Church in Rock Hill, South Carolina.