Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Our Missional Calling

For nearly four years, we, at our church, have worked with and been guided by four core values. One of these primary principles is ‘missional living’—that as people of faith we are called to live missional lives in our community. But that idea can mean a lot of things (or nothing) to a lot of people. So, to that end, we’ve created some more language to help flesh out exactly what we’re striving for.

“In a world of busyness, activity, and projects, the church must learn to foster a lifestyle of mission. We serve a God of mission who is not bound by the walls of the religious institution, so we strive to emulate this posture—moving outside the walls of our church to be on mission everywhere we go—seeking to be the good news of Jesus in our neighborhoods, city, and world.”

That’s more helpful, but perhaps still confusing and ambiguous. So, here’s an idea I stumbled upon recently that might help us understand the missional posture we’re called to embody in our world:

We’re missionaries cleverly disguised as good neighbors.

Typically, when I think of mission work and missionaries, I think of extraordinary people doing extravagant projects in exotic places. I think of Africa and Central America and Southeast Asia. I think of building projects and street evangelism and Bible translation. I think of professional missionaries who have raised support, learned a new language, and moved their families around the globe for Jesus.

But we’re all missionaries. We’re all sent by God, on mission in the places we find ourselves. We’re all tasked with being people who live and share the good news of Jesus. And on the most basic level, we do our mission work through simply being good neighbors. We can easily overcomplicate the relatively simple message of Jesus: love God, love your neighbor, and as you go, make disciples of people everywhere, helping them to understand and live out the way of Jesus.

We’re missionaries cleverly disguised as good neighbors.

We all have a mission field—the people we live with each day and the places we inhabit. We all have new languages to learn—the task of listening to and learning to speak with our neighbors. We’re all sent on mission by our great missional God—tasked with loving our neighbors, allowing them to experience and know the good news of our great God, and being a faithful presence of kindness, generosity, and blessing to those in our relational sphere.

So, let’s embrace our missional calling. Let’s welcome our God-given role as missionaries in our world. And let’s enter our world each day, ready to spread the good news of Jesus through being people of hospitality, peace, and love.

Let’s proudly take on the challenge of being missionaries cleverly disguised as good neighbors.

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