Our mission as followers of Christ is simply to be disciples who make disciples all for the glory of God. And we do this wherever God has placed us, whether its work, school, our neighborhood, etc. That’s it in a nutshell.
Seems too simple right? But once we have the confusion over mission and context cleared up then what? How do we actually go about making disciples once we’ve taken a fresh look at our context? How do we live it out?
In Jesus’ command to his disciples recorded by Matthew, he says we are to “go and make disciples…” And I’m sure some of you have heard that in the Greek language the phrase more accurately says “as you go, make disciples.” Because that really clears things up for us doesn’t it? Yet it is an important thing to understand.
Let’s consider Paul. While we tend to read through Paul’s journeys and try to adapt his methods, it is easy to miss that much of what Paul does happens in places he would normally go, regardless of the city he is in. He visits the synagogues, he works in the marketplace, he visits homes. There isn’t anything earth shattering in the bulk of his activities.
We do similar things each day and each week. The key is to see God in the mundane everyday things we already do. Mission takes place in the things we are already doing.
A church leader I know in England broke it down this way. He made a list of the things he does every day. Then he made a list of the things he does weekly, and monthly. Next he asked, how can I involve someone else in these things I’m already doing and how can the Gospel be applied in each activity?
Some things are easy. I’m guessing that you all eat at least once a day. So how hard is it to eat with someone else you know? In my last job I made sure to schedule my breaks around the breaks of co-workers so that I could spend time with them getting to know them. In doing so I learned much more about their lives, their struggles, their hopes, and their needs than I ever would have if I hadn’t made the effort to simply be present and eat at the same time.
While eating is a simple one it’s definitely not the only thing we do in life. Some of the ladies in our community used to do their grocery shopping trips together. It was something they did each week that they could do together and have time to talk while walking the aisles. Maybe it’s a hobby or the gym. Who can you do it with that doesn’t know Christ? My gym partner is not a follower of Christ but our time working out is a chance to talk about life. In those conversations I have earned free rein to talk about my faith, how it informs my choices and how my faith in Christ shapes how I view the world around me. The key here is that I would be going to the gym anyway, just as those ladies would have gone to the grocery store. It’s not adding more tasks to our already busy lives. It’s letting those tasks and items on our schedules become appointments with God.
The key to this is to first acknowledge God’s presence in our everyday lives, then we actually become more effective at demonstrating who Christ is to those around us. Take the time each day to ask God to reveal himself within your day. Then take the time to listen to those you already spend time with at work or in class. Listen for the ways in which they are searching for some thing more. Then ask more questions. Listen for the ways in which they are trusting in things that will ultimately fail them or have already done so. Then speak truth with a heart of love and concern for them.
You might be surprised at what God does in the midst of your everyday life.
** image by SethtotheBrown