Category Archives: Mission

Live on Mission? Where Do I Start?

“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:

  1. Coming to a church’s small group or Sunday gathering for the first time is intimidating, especially for an unchurched person.
  2. 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.


Foundations of Missional Community Pt 3

This is the third in a series of posts from a session called Foundations of Missional Community at the Exponential Conference. The session was led by Jeff Vanderstelt and Caesar Kalinowski. The first two posts can be found here and here.

The first two posts were very idealogical, discussing what missional community is. It’s important to listen and have these conversations because we can agree on things in principle, but not even be on the same page in defining the terms. These two posts just lay out what missional community looks like in a very vibrant way.

The third post is very practical and wraps up their talk. Some of the things they talk about are fairly specific to their context and relationships, but please don’t get bogged down on every detail. Listen with ears that are asking how it looks to live missionally in community in your context, taking cues from their stories and experiences.

There may also be a few things mentioned that you aren’t quite on board with, and that’s ok. Don’t let those issues distract you from the point: learning what it looks like to live in missional community everyday, with real people, in the rhythms of real life. If some things you hear aren’t your particular bag of chips, what does it look like for you?

And that’s where the discussion starts. What does it look like for you to live on-mission and in community? What does it look like to live as a gospel community on mission, combining the two so much that it’s hard to distinguish one from the other? The answers to these questions are the beginning of what church really is.

Foundations of Missional Community Pt 3

What if we’re wrong about the harvest?

A little while back I was at a great church planting seminar, and right in the middle of his session the alarm on the speaker’s phone goes off. Amateur. It was an iPhone with the motorcycle sound, so it was really loud and annoying, and I assumed he would quickly turn it off and apologize to the group. Why is this guy so unprepared? Instead, he grabs it and asks us to… pray. What?

He went on to share that everyday at 10:02am he and many others all over the world stop and ask God to send workers out into the harvest. The strange time of day comes from Luke 10:2, where Jesus tells his own people to do this. This guy had intentionally left his alarm on and allowed it to sound, because it was an opportunity to pray together. Clever.

A closer look at Luke 10:2 is revealing, both of God’s work and of my own heart. It says, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”

I tend to be convinced that the harvest is small and difficult. And of course we’ve seen that be true at times, so experience speaks to that in some ways. But unless Jesus is lying or crazy, the harvest is plentiful and the lack of workers to bring it in is the problem. And in response to this problem, we are told to ask the Lord, who makes things grow and who is in control of the harvest, to send out more workers to bring it in.

And I ask myself: If I am honest with my own heart, do I doubt God’s willingness or even his power to bring in the harvest? Dagger. The answer to this question says absolutely nothing about God, but it says everything about the condition of my own fickle heart.

Or am I expectantly looking for the harvest and earnestly asking the Lord to send workers to help bring it in?

1) What does your own heart believe?
2) Will you pray regularly and ask God to send workers into his harvest?

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