Wednesday, September 09, 2009

SIMPLIFIED MISSIONAL LIVING
excellent article by Jonathan Dodson from The Resurgence

UPDATED
Missional living is being salt and light right where we are in the ordinary things of our day. As basic as that may seem, many Christians fail to be witnesses of the Lord Jesus in the pots and pans of their world. In the following article, Jonathan Dodson provides some helpful examples of how to let your light shine to your neighbors and community.


But always remember this beloved, these things alone are not profitable for the kingdom IF the gospel is not at the core of your missional strategery. Missional living is making disciples. So, may I encourage you today to get out of the "Christian ghetto" you might find yourselves in, and "live out loud" as a testimony of His saving grace. And as you go... take the gospel and its transforming truths with you. Amen?


Here is a great example of biblical, missional living for you to read and study.


The Cross is a Radical Thing...

Steve

2 Cor.4:5-7



Simplified Missional Living


Jonathan Dodson

Eat with Non-Christians

We all eat three meals a day. Why not make a habit of sharing one of those meals with a non-Christian or with a family of non-Christians? Go to lunch with a co-worker, not by yourself. Invite the neighbors over for family dinner. If it’s too much work to cook a big dinner, just order pizza and put the focus on conversation. When you go out for a meal, invite a non-Christian friend. Or take your family to family-style restaurants where you can sit at the table with strangers and strike up conversations. Have cookouts and invite Christians and non-Christians. Flee the Christian subculture.

Walk, Don’t Drive

If you live in a walkable area, make a practice of getting out and walking around your neighborhood, apartment complex, or campus. Instead of driving to the mailbox or convenience store, walk to get mail or groceries. Be deliberate in your walk. Say hello to people you don’t know. Strike up conversations... Make friends. Get out of your house! Last night I spent an hour outside gardening with my family. We had good conversations with about four of our neighbors. Take interest in your neighbors. Ask questions. Engage. Pray as you go

Be a Regular

Instead of hopping all over the city for gas, groceries, haircuts, eating out, and coffee, go to the same places at the same times. Get to know the staff. Smile. Ask questions. Be a regular. I have friends at coffee shops all over the city. My friends at Starbucks donate a ton of leftover pastries to our church 2-3 times a week. We use them for church gatherings and occasionally give them to the homeless. Build relationships. Be a regular.

Hobby with Non-Christians

Pick a hobby that you can share. Get out and do something you enjoy with others. Try city league sports or local rowing and cycling teams. Share your hobby by teaching lessons, such as sewing, piano, knitting, or tennis lessons. Be prayerful. Be intentional. Be winsome. Have fun. Be yourself.

Talk to Your Co-workers.

How hard is that? Take your breaks with intentionality. Go out with your team or task force after work. Show interest in your co-workers. Pick four and pray for them. Form moms’ groups in your neighborhood and don’t make them exclusively non-Christian. Schedule play dates with the neighbors’ kids. Work on mission.

Volunteer with Non-Profits.

Find a non-profit in your part of the city and take a Saturday a month to serve your city. Bring your neighbors, your friends, or your small group. Spend time with your church serving your city. Once a month. You can do it!

Participate in City Events

Instead of playing XBox, watching TV, or surfing the net, participate in city events. Go to fundraisers, festivals, cleanups, summer shows, and concerts. Participate missionally. Strike up conversation. Study the culture. Reflect on what you see and hear. Pray for the city. Love the city.Participate with the city.

Serve Your Neighbors.

Help a neighbor by weeding, mowing, building a cabinet, or fixing a car. Stop by the neighborhood association or apartment office and ask if there is anything you can do to help improve things. Ask your local Police and Fire Stations if there is anything you can do to help them. Get creative.Just serve!

5 comments:

vaughn said...

Steve, brother, I'm with you on most things, but this kind of fluffy "be missional" coaching is a little silly. Strolling the neighborhood with your dog, the kids and a six pack to share may sound missional, but I have another perspective: if the six pack is beer, in a time when alcoholism is absolutely amok in the culture, it may be DANGEROUS. Recovering alcoholics don't need missional Christians unintentionally tempting them with a can of Coors. And, save the planet in so doing? Silly. Ginned up cultural relevance by Christians is largely identified and eschewed by the worldly masses.

Mow the lawn for your unbelieving neighbors, chat with the baristas in the local coffee house, be seen in the community - all fine ideas, but here's an idea that is even more missional: pray that the unbelievers in your neighborhood become convicted and repent as you tell them the straight truth about their need for Christ.

JTW said...

Good stuff here Steve. There are some things here I never considered. Thanks

SJ Camp said...

vaughn
You're right about some of this. I should have edited - will do so now.

~Mark said...

I like this post very much! It's about building those bridges and earning not just the right to be heard, but the respect of those who listen...

...and the chance for someone to ask why you are the way you are.

Thanks for posting this Steve!

Brad Shaw said...

Steve,
It is great to encourage every born again believer to be salt and light, reaching out to others. Also, there are differences in reaching out and sharing our faith and gospel with our neighbors - those of our own culture, versus "going" into another culture, as described with the word "missional". As a missionary from Colorado living with Quechua Indians in Peru, I wonder if, when we encourage every Christian to minister where ever they are, maybe we should be using another word. I wonder why we are using the term "missional" for any and all personal evangelism and local community ministry. Do you understand why, and do you think that this is good to loose the significance of the concept of "mission" as a "going" for cross cultural forms of ministry? Thanks Steve.