Biblical Christianity is not just about a belief or a meeting. Its is a life that we live following Jesus. A motto we have adopted that encompasses an important theme of the Bible (beginning with the Garden of Eden Genesis 1-3, and culminating at the great end time family event “the Marriage Supper of the Lamb Rev 19:7-10, 21:9) is, “God’s Spirit filled family together on His mission.” Christianity is not just about a belief or a meeting. It is a life that we live following Jesus. Click To Tweet
When we understand that Christianity and church isn’t a meeting or organization but a way of life (with God’s and His family) it affects the way we engage in everyday mission. Missions and evangelism isn’t a program or event but an everyday life’s journey. It’s to be a way of life not an optional add on.
We need to see God come into our everyday patterns of life that we already live. What are the areas of life that everyone engages in? Rest, Eating, Work, Leisure, and Celebrations. Celebrations are things like holidays, birthdays, and weddings etc. (Jesus first miracle was at a wedding). Leisure can be vacations, recreation, and sports etc. Work is self explanatory whether it be work around the house or your job site. Physical and emotional rest is something everyone needs.
Rather than missions and evangelism being a program added on to our already busy life, what if it really became part of our everyday life patterns/rhythms? We either invite others into ours or we join them in theirs.
Building Everyday Missional Habits among God’s People
Like any area of life good habits help us to develop and walk in beneficial endeavors. Here are two acronyms I have heard that contain ideas in developing good habits for everyday missions and evangelism.
VISA (Visit, Invite, Serve, Ask): All foreign missionaries have to get a visa to go to their mission field.
- Visit – visit with your friends and neighbors showing interest, friendship, and offer to pray for them.
- Invite – open your homes and lives to show hospitality (making people feel welcome and valued). Invite friends and neighbors over for a meal, dessert, or conversation etc. Jesus did quite of a bit of His mission around meals. Almost all of the book of Luke records accounts of Jesus going to a meal, eating at a meal, or coming from a meal. Conversations around meals can be openings to talk about deeper things.
- Serve – look for ways to practically serve neighbors or people in the community. We are looking for ways to show the love of God through serving and caring.
- Ask – we are looking for ways to ask God for them. Pray for them, and with them when you can to release the presence and power of God.
BELLS (Bless, Eat, Listen, Learn, Serve):
- BLESS – Bless means “to speak well of or to praise.” Later the meaning shifted toward “pronounce or make happy.” Today Christians use the word “bless” in a variety ways. Even blessing someone who has just sneezed is an expression of goodwill and a desire for continued health. In blessing someone we want to bring encouragement and help lift the burden of life even for a few moments. How can we bless someone?
Words of Affirmation This is the simplest way to bless someone. Speak or send people words of affirmation or encouragement through a note, an email, or a text. Let them know you’ve noticed something valuable about them. This isn’t flattery, but something God helps you notice to bring His light on. I’ve heard it said that a word of encouragement is like oxygen to the soul. Mark Twain, “I can live for two months on a good compliment.”
Mark Twain, “I can live for two months on a good compliment.”
Acts of Kindness Who doesn’t feel blessed when someone does them a favor or provides some kind of practical support? Cutting someone’s lawn. Babysitting an exhausted couple’s kids. Helping a neighbor move. These acts of kindness lift up and bring strength to others.
Gifts There is a thoughtful element behind giving a small gift that shows we value and care for someone.
- EAT – Eating was an important part of life and ministry with Jesus, the disciples, and others. Much Kingdom activity in the Gospels happened around meals. We need to see eating missionally. Eating is a normal rhythm of life. You won’t need to add a great deal into your already busy schedule. You already eat 3 times a day. That’s 21 meals a week. We simply want to see people come around some of those 21 meals.
The table is the great equalizer in relationships. When you sit across the table from people it is easier to open up. When we eat together we rediscover the value of people. We share stories, hopes, fears, and disappointments. People open up, and we can open up to them to share things, including our faith in Jesus.
- LISTEN – We listen for Holy Spirit’s voice and promptings over our neighbors and friends. It may be a direction or an throught God wants you to share with them in a wise, discreet way.
- LEARN – We can learn from the life of Jesus about how He did things. We do this by studying the person and work of Jesus in the gospels as well as reading good books about Him. I have done a systematic study of how Jesus engaged in mission on earth in a fresh way going though all the gospels. I am finding that He tended to do 3 things throughout the gospels. He indiscriminately blessing and healed people. He gave clear calls to follow Him. He challenged people who took comfort in their own ability to please Him.
- SENT – We need the identity of a missionary everyday. Missions is everyone, everywhere, all the time. Everyday missionaries, like Jesus and the disciples, alert people to God’s reign/kingdom through acts of love and kindness as well as releasing God’s supernatural power.
Let’s incorporate good missionary habits in our everyday life.
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