How can I think like a missionary?
Missionaries live with a deep love and compassion for those who are far from God. They are burdened for those who are lost — those who are like sheep without a shepherd. They live by the words of Jesus when He said, “I have other sheep that are not of this fold” (John 10:16). They are driven by the fact that there are people out there who are not yet brothers and sisters in Christ, simply because they have not been given an opportunity to hear and respond to the gospel. With this great burden comes three questions that are usually on the forefront of missionaries’ minds:
1. Who lives around me?
Missionaries want to discover the people who live in their city. They want to know the number of people, commonalities, diversities, languages, cultures, joys, hopes, fears and struggles.
2. Who goes to my church and the other churches around me?
Missionaries want to understand who their fellow brothers and sisters in Christ are in their city or community. They want to know the number of believers, the health of the churches and the reach of their ministries. They understand that every believer and every church is called to fulfill the Great Commission, and that it is God’s design for churches to work together to reach their communities and the world for Christ.
3. Who is left?
Missionaries want to devote their time and resources to those in their community who are unbelievers and have not yet had an opportunity to hear and respond to the gospel. They look for “gospel gaps”, which are opportunities to use the gifts and skills God has given them to enter into the lives of unbelievers and to meet them in the midst of their brokenness. They engage people through social, service, support, sports, seasonal or study activities. The goal is to build authentic relationships with gospel intentionality.
How can I live like a missionary?
Once a missionary has asked these three questions about their community, then what would they do?
- Be fervent in prayer.
- Seek to enter into the lives and communities of people who are far from God and have not had opportunity to hear and respond to the gospel.
- Be bold and frequent in the proclamation of the gospel, calling people to repent and believe.
- Disciple those who come to faith, teaching them to obey all the commands of Christ.
- Gather new believers together to form healthy churches, growing them up together into maturity in Christ and developing from among them those who will lead these newly formed churches.
- Eventually partner with churches and leaders they formed to press into other communities where they gospel had not yet gone.
What would our cities look like if we saw ourselves as the ones Jesus sent to seek and save the lost in our own communities? Imagine how our culture would change if we began not only to think but also to act like missionaries in our cities, towns and neighborhoods. The Mission Mobilization team exist to serve your church as you seek to fulfill the Great Commission. To discover new opportunities to make disciples and further develop an “Act 1:8” strategy that reflects the specific gifts and personality of your church, contact John Barnett, KBC Missions Strategist, by email: [email protected] or phone 502-654-3385. We are here to serve!