By Kathy Johnston
Have you noticed a lot of people in Christian circles tossing around the word “missional” lately? Missional church, missional outreach, missional living, missional motherhood…what in the world does it really mean anyway?
Webster’s dictionary defines the word mission as “the act or an instance of sending”. Jesus gives a clear message of sending out to his disciples right before he ascended into heaven: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” (Matt. 28:19-20). It’s a mandate, we are called to be sent out…to be on mission, to be agents for God’s kingdom.
We see this theme of “sending” throughout Gods word. God sent Abram to a new land where he would become a father of a great nation. He sent Moses into the wilderness and then to Pharaoh, to rescue his people. But all of these things were leading up to the greatest mission of all…when he sent his only Son to rescue us from the curse of death. After Jesus defeated death, he then sent the Holy Spirit to be poured out on all believers, and the church was then sent on mission to share the good news of salvation to all the world.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved.” John 3:16-17
“As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.” John 17:18
So we are all called to be missional, sent out…to go into the world and share the good news and to make disciples. Jesus didn’t tell us to sit in our homes and our churches and wait for people to come to us and ask us about him. He meant for us to be actively, intentionally going out and sharing our faith. We are all agents of God’s kingdom. We were intended to carry out the mission of God through every aspect of our lives. That means, we are sent out to carry the message in our homes, our churches, our jobs, our neighborhoods…any place that we come in contact with people, we are to be on mission for God’s kingdom.
I love this quote from a tweet I read recently: “Missional is not an event we tack onto our already busy lives. It is our life.”
It’s a way of living. It’s being intentional in how we speak, act and live towards others so that the message of salvation can be shared and more people brought into God’s kingdom. That’s the mission…that God would be glorified! Living missionally minded means there’s intentional purpose in everything we do, how we raise our children, how we relate to our spouses, co-workers and neighbors– always keeping in mind the bigger picture of eternity.
Just recently I’ve been annoyed at some neighbors over some activity next door. It’s a large house that had been empty for some time. About a year ago, the out–of–town owners started renting it to a bunch of young, single people. There is a total of about 7 or 8 single people now living in the house…which equals about 9 vehicles parked in the quiet little cul-de-sac that we live in. Now don’t laugh…but I’ve read the city codes and know that technically what they are doing is not permitted! I could call the city and report them and maybe force some of them to move out. Or…we could invite them over for a BBQ and get to know them and eventually be able to share the gospel with them. Here’s the part where I have to remind myself that I’m here for HIS purpose…not mine! We haven’t had that BBQ yet, but we are planning on it. Pray for me! Haha!
I’ve got a long way to go. But I want my life to be deliberately intentional. To always keep in mind the great mission we are all called to. I’m not there yet…but it’s my goal!
There are many simple ways we can live our lives missionally…like sharing a meal with someone you know is not a believer. Sit down and listen to their story.
Be a regular. Go to the same places at the same times. Get to know the people who work there, whether it’s at a bank, a store, a restaurant or the gym.
Over the next few months we will be hearing from different women sharing how they have learned to live missionally in their homes, their jobs, at church, and in their communities and schools.
Please feel free to share your thoughts and feedback. We love to hear from you!