Coming off of our mission Sunday in December I was so excited. Our church really responded to the call to pray, give, get involved, and go. Many people talked about going on mission trips, giving to missions, praying for missions, etc. This is such a blessing and I count that day as a huge success; however, it doesn’t need to stop there. The missions’ day doesn’t need to be the only time we talk about missions. That day needs to be a spring board that launches us into 2015 with our hearts on fire to reach the unconvinced world like never before.
Missions isn’t about a day, or even a sermon series, it’s a lifestyle. We need to learn that being on mission is a part of who we are. We should be on mission every day of our lives. So what does it mean to live a life on mission, here are three ways we can be on mission every day:
We need to devote our resources to missions. That doesn’t mean just our money; of course we need to give to missions. We need to use the funds the Lord has given us to change the world around us— support missionaries, mission trips, local outreach ministries, and even using our money in small ways to impact our neighbors. Have a neighborhood cookout or bake cookies for your co-workers. Do anything that will help you build a relationship with them and open the door to share your faith. Money is not the only resource you have. Your time is an even greater resource than money. So many of us seem busy, but really if we think about it we waste a lot of time, especially on entertainment. We need to do away with some activities that take up a lot of time but do nothing to advance the kingdom of God. We all have the same amount of time, the difference is how we use it. Use your time to reach the unconvinced.
Christians are notorious for not being exposed to unconvinced people in any real, meaningful way. We seem to live in a comfortable Christian bubble. Sure we may work with some non-Christians or have some in our neighborhood, but do we actually know them? Part of being used by God to reach out to those around us is just simply proximity. We have to be around them. We have to expose ourselves to them. We have to open up our lives and our homes to them. You may not have an opportunity to share your faith in the flow of the work day but what is stopping you from inviting someone to your home or out to lunch? In those moments you can start to build relationships and look for opportunities to share. Don’t only be friends with Christians, don’t live in a Christian bubble; expose yourself to the unconvinced people around you.
Finally, this stuff does not just happen. We have to be intentional. We do not accidentally become missionaries. We do not accidentally reach our neighbors for the Lord. Start by intentionally praying about being used then begin to adapt and change your habits. Change the way your think about the world around you. Begin to look at your world as a missionary looks at a new mission field. Look for opportunities to reach out and do good works in the name of Jesus. It does not just happen, you have to make it happen.
As I think about how missionaries live when they go to another country, I am sure, whether they know it or not, that they do these things. Missionaries use their resources wisely to reach those in their new country, they have to expose themselves to the native people, and they have to become intentional in reaching out. Being a missionary doesn’t just happen, it takes planning and commitment. The same is true for us. Just because we live here in America does not mean we aren’t missionaries…we are and we need to start living that way! Missions is a lifestyle. We need to start living it out before it’s too late.