Most of us know that a missionary is someone who leaves his home country and goes to a foreign culture with the primary purpose of sharing the good news of Jesus Christ with the people of his new home country.
But what about those who are not called to leave home to become missionaries?
How should they live? Matthew 5:16 tells us “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in Heaven.” We call this “missional living”. Many of us already know this concept by the term hospitality, but it is more than that.
We live in our communities, but we make a conscious effort to share Jesus with our friends. Asking God to grow His love for others in our hearts is a great place to begin. Just living a godly life really does show itself in a missional life. How can I say this? Well, a godly person will be doing 2 things – (1) loving God with all of their hearts and (2) loving their neighbor as themselves.
When you love God and others you, will naturally build relationships with people, and you will be overflowing with His love and want to share Jesus with them.
For me, missional living shows up in various ways. When I grocery shop, I regularly go the same stores on the same day and build relationships with the employees – rather than ignoring them or treating them as though I am their reason for existence. While checking out, I notice when the cashier seems stressed and sincerely ask how he/she is doing. I remember to treat them with respect – because I want to love my neighbor as myself. When the cashier shares a need, I let him/her know I will pray. Depending on the interaction, sometimes I will invite them to church or share some short literature that shares the Gospel with them. I am not pushy about this, but I show them that I care about them personally.
In your own neighborhood, you are missional when you consciously make a point to meet your neighbors and build relationships. You have a welcoming attitude to the children in your community. You arrange activities for your kids to have with their friends, being sincerely interested in their well-being and safety. In time, you may begin to have Bible Clubs in your home, but ultimately you are missional when you take time for others and purposefully build relationships with them. This is missional living. It is not putting on a front and pretending to like people. This is really loving others because of what Christ has done to change your heart.
On a regular basis, I plan to post about ideas that we can use to live in a missional way. I hope that you will find an idea or two that fit your personality and community. You will know what fits your family. Pray about it and wait for God to show you some ideas. Think about your interests and the people around you that are also interested in these activities. Maybe there is a way that you can use these skills to strengthen relationships with others.
Missional Living is all about building relationships out of love. And part of that is sharing Jesus with our friends and family as God leads us to do so.
This video shows a great example of how a family can be missional in their lives. His specific example would not be the choice of my family, but what an impact Mr. Tripp and his family have had by living missionally!
CBF has shared a great blog post that further develops the idea of Missional Living. Click here to read 5 Tips on Becoming a More Missional Christian.
Check out our “Missional Living” Pinterest board.
I definitely have not arrived in this area, but I am working on it. I would love to hear what has worked in your community. In the comments below, tell me an idea you think you could live out in your neighborhood or a different one that you would like to share. I desire to have an enormous volume of ideas to grow in hospitality! Thank you for your help.