Wednesday, March 20, 2013

8 ways to be missional in a small community context

8 ways to be missional in a small community context

Because many in the Bible belt have been raised in a Christian context, they feel that they are Christian though they may not know anything about the Gospel. As well, there are many who grew up going to church and in fact have experienced a saving relationship with God. However they are no longer attending church and have not for years.

Many of these people are living lives that are entrenched in deep overt sin. Others are living exceptionally moral lives. Each of these groups that are being lived out are done so, “far from God”. Additionally, since most who live in the Bible belt believe themselves to be Christian because the name of the state on their driver’s license is from the Bible belt, I am including them in the group “far from God”.

So the following  group that I will call “far from God” includes the following:

a     .       Those who are Christian in name only.
b     .      Believers who have strayed from the Gospel and are living immoral lives.
c     .       Believers who have strayed from the Gospel and are living morally upright lives.

Following are 8 ways to be missional in a small community context.

1.       Eat with Non-Christians and those who are “far from God”.
a.       Because we eat at least 3 meals a day, let’s begin to share these meals with others. Let’s include those who are far from God as well as those who freely admit that they are not Christian.
b.      This may include
                                                               i.      neighbors
                                                             ii.      friends from work
                                                            iii.      new people who have moved into town

2.       Be a regular.
a.       If your town is not too small, seek to do business with the same people every time you make a transaction. Just make sure that those who are the ones you are interacting with are far from God. Some examples might be:
                                                               i.      purchase your gas from the same gas station
                                                             ii.      go to the same pharmacy
                                                            iii.       eat at the same diners etc…
                                                           iv.      drink coffee with the coffee drinkers in the community

3.       Hobby with Non-Christians and those who are “far from God”.
a.       Fish
b.      Crochet
c.       Sew
d.      Yard work
e.      Gardening flower/vegetable
f.        Walking
g.       Writing
h.      Music
i.         Cooking
j.        Collecting

4.       Participate in community events.
a.       Parades
b.      Musical events
c.       Theater
d.      Dance
e.      Recitals
f.        Clean ups
g.       Festivals
h.      Fundraisers
i.         If the town is really small, participate in the events that occur within the local high school(s) and junior high(s).
                                                               i.      Basketball games
                                                             ii.      Volleyball games
                                                            iii.      Football
                                                           iv.      Track
                                                             v.      FCA projects
                                                           vi.      Academic contests
                                                          vii.      Teacher aids
                                                        viii.      Story reading

5.       Seek to step out of your comfort zone and talk to people. The best conversation takes place when we listen. As we listen we are able to formulate questions that helps direct the conversation. By doing so we learn about others. We learn their hopes, their passions, their desires, their dreams, their pain, loss they have experienced.
a.       Through listening we are able to better understand who these people are and why they say the things they say, do the things they do and are the people they are.
b.      We are also better equipped to pray for these people.
c.       We are better equipped to love them and show compassion.
d.      We learn what these people are not believing about the Gospel and are able to show them how they may have hope.

Those whom we may talk to are:
                                                               i.      Those who we do regular business with.
                                                             ii.      Co-Workers
                                                            iii.      Neighbors
                                                           iv.      Those whom we participate with in community events
                                                             v.      Strike up conversations with people you do not know.

6.       Volunteer with Non-Profits.
a.       Thrift stores
b.      Environment related organizations
c.       Animal related organizations
d.      Health services
e.      Human services
f.        International or foreign affairs

7.       Serve your neighbors.
a.       Yard work
b.      Painting
c.       Wash their car
d.      Baby sit
e.      Animal sit
f.        House watch

8.       Seek to be missional in all things. Or another way of saying that is seek to be a blessing. Whether we help paint another’s home, volunteer at the local thrift store or eat with those who are far from God, we are to do it all for His glory. Do not add these things to our lives as “to do” lists but as the way of life; a life that is joyously lived out serving others out of the overflow of our love for our Creator.

a.       In all things seek to be a blessing to others. Be creative in ways that you might be a blessing.
b.      Even more, listen to the Spirit’s prompting and obey. We have been commanded to be a blessing and if we are seeking to do so, God will bring people across our paths who we are to bless. Listen to His prompting and obey and step back to see what God does through our blessing both to the person whom we have blessed as well as to ourselves.

by Michael J. Lee

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