“How do I start living on mission? I know I need to, and I want to, but I don’t know where to start.” This is a conversation I’ve had with myself, and it’s something many of you have probably played out in your head or in conversation. It’s a good question to be asking, it’s and understandable not to know where to start.
These are a few simple thoughts from articles I’ve read or conversations I’ve had about living on mission. Most of these are not new ideas, but the key to all of them is intentionality. Most of us don’t live on mission because we don’t do it on purpose, and missional living doesn’t happen by accident.
The bottom line: You are the strategy
The people are the church, and we are the mission. If we are truly going to live on mission and grow missionally (as opposed to attractionally), the majority of our growth will be people who come on the arm of someone else. That means people engaging and inviting people, both to Remedy and to the gospel. Since WE are the strategy for mission, if we don’t do it, it will not happen.
Got it…now how do we do that?
Overemphasize mission…particularly at the start of the group
In the beginning stages of a Missional Community you need to do more mission-focused things (out) than you do worship/teaching (up) or times of hanging out with people already in the group (in). You need to be out doing things that connect to Persons of Peace (people God has already prepared in advance to be open to you and your vision) in your mission context and then spending lots of time with them. If it doesn’t get into your DNA early…it won’t get in. Pragmatically, think of it this way: For every time you do something “up” or “in” focused in the first 3-4 months, you need to do AT LEAST 2-3 outward, mission focused things.
Adapted from “Top Reasons Missional Communities Fail” by Doug Paul.
Invite them to dinner
Invite a friend or neighbor to dinner at your place before you invite them to a Missional Community or on Sunday morning. 2 reasons:
- Coming to a church’s small group or Sunday gathering for the first time is intimidating, especially for an unchurched person.
- You want to be friends with them, not just “win” them.
So invite them over, get to know them, and let them get to know you. Help them take the first step into community.
From a conversation with Luke Allen, Lead Pastor of The Covenant Church.
Throw parties and invite your neighbors.
This could be anything from a get-together in your apartment to a full-scale neighborhood block party. The transient nature of many cities can lead to neighbors barely knowing one another. Sometimes all it takes is to initiate by invitation!
Taken from “11 Gospel-Centered Ways to Love Your City” by Tim Gaydos.
Do mission in bite-sized pieces
It can be difficult to understand how I can meaningfully serve my city and make a difference, but it is much easier to see how I can serve my neighbors and make an immediate impact on their lives.
As you get to know them, look for ways to serve them. Take them meals, offer to watch the kids, do yard work, paint a fence, schedule a play date or a neighborhood cookout. What things can you do for your neighbors that will add value to their lives? Now involve your Missional Community in helping to engage your neighborhood.
Adapted from “The Neighborhood Approach” by Brad House.