One thing we all have in common is that we live life in our own little corner of the universe. I know that at times I feel insignificant and need to be reminded by God that my little corner and my place in it is remarkable. He has gifted each of us with a unique group of family and friends, with a specific gifting to be the best person to be Jesus to those around us.
We hear this phrase often but it is important that we understand how this plays out in our everyday lives. What does it actually mean to be called to the “great commission” to make disciples when I am a hairdresser, a builder, a teacher, a plumber, a parent who cares for my children in my home, or retired and even busier than ever? What does it actually mean if I am not a gifted evangelist?
Mission is not something that we put on at times, like a piece of clothing, but it is who we are moment by moment in our day. While the gifting of evangelism is not given to all, mission is. We are all called to live in the way of Christ and bring the good news of Christ, to proclaim the gospel through our words and actions. Local mission is far more than sharing the four spiritual laws with people or explaining how they can get to heaven… it is who we are and what we do. It is accepting people for who they are. Maybe it is having a meal or a coffee or a drink with a friend. Maybe it is taking out a neighbour’s bin when they forget, or making them a meal when someone in the family is unwell, or maybe it is cutting their lawn when they’re busy, maybe it is just doing life with them in some way. We are called to be His church, ALL of us, to be bold in BOTH words and actions.
As a wife, mother, daughter, friend, pastor, Dean of Students and lecturer at a university, I am first and foremost a daughter of our Heavenly Father, and so in each of these places I am called to be a local missionary. I know this is tough to do though and I sometimes feel like a lamb amongst wolves, so I am also passionate about encouraging others to live out mission in their own unique way with those who they live life with every day.
Recently I was privileged to participate in a workshop we called “Everyday Jesus”. The workshop gathered people together for 2 hours and encouraged them to consider the many different ways that God calls us to love those around us and then discover their particular strengths. It took us all on a journey to move from seeing mission as an add-on to our life to be part of our DNA as we live Christ every day. We focused on “what starts us, stops us and keeps us going” in our local mission. In “what starts us” we explored how we love and live our way; in “what stops us” we considered the many hurdles, real and imagined, that confront us; and in “what keeps us going” the workshop explored how we can spur each other on to promote the Gospel right where we are. The material presents questions for reflection that can then be used further as an individual or in a small group.
The key overriding purpose of the workshop was to show how we are “fearfully and wonderfully made” by God and how He has hand placed us smack bang in the middle of our world, with a unique group of family and friends. God knew what He was doing when He made us. He designed us with a unique mix of personality, temperament, talents, and background, and He wants to use each of us to reach others in a way that works uniquely for each one of us.
“Jesus everyday” by Jenny Allen, Missional Pastor at Mayfield Baptist Church and Dean of Students at the University of Newcastle. prac12.