Living missionally in your community requires intentionality, a willing heart and dependency on the Holy Spirit. Everyone has influence in someone’s life, but as willing as we may be, it can be hard to know where to start.
How do we engage our sphere of influence most effectively? Here are ten practical ways to live on mission where God has placed you:
We begin by acknowledging we are dependent on God to move if we’re going to make any real impact in our community.
Who can you begin praying for today in your community?
Genuinely love and care about the people you want to reach. Be curious about their lives. Learn about their passions. Allow space for them to teach you their area of expertise. Our effectiveness will be severely limited if we don’t authentically love the people we’re trying to reach.
Do I love this community and the people in it? Do I see them as God sees them?
3. Create margin in your schedule.
If we are constantly moving from one thing to the next, we will rarely have margin for the unexpected moments and encounters God allows in our day. Less is more. Leave room in your schedule for the unexpected to happen.
Do we have enough margin in our schedule to allow for unexpected relationships and extended conversations?
4. Discover where people gather.
Someone in your community is likely already gathering people for some purpose. Maybe it’s a running group, a book club, neighborhood watch meeting or kids story time at the library. Find where people are already getting together and go there. Get involved. Build relationships.
Where are people already gathering in your community? How can you get involved?
5. Do what you love with others.
God has gifted us with unique gifts and abilities, and there are people in our community who share these passions. As we explore how our hobbies can be done alongside others in our community, we’ll find we already have a greater level of credibility and kinship with those whom we share these similarities. The gospel is intrinsically powerful—unleash it from its cage and see what happens.
What do you love doing? How can you do it with others?
6. Ask good questions.
As we connect with people, ask good questions that express our genuine interest in the lives of others. In most conversations, people must fight to get in a word about themselves. When we carry a posture of servanthood in a conversation by asking good questions, we’re being countercultural and expressing our desire to authentically know another.
What are some open-ended questions you could memorize to have ready to ask others?
It’s impossible to ask good questions if we’re not actively listening. As you listen, resist the urge to think about what you will say next. Simply listen. As we ask good questions, we want to listen well so we can accumulate information of how the gospel can uniquely speak into someone’s hopes, fears and life stage.
What would help you to become less distracted as you listen to others?
8. Share your story.
While people might initially resist the firm truth claims of the gospel, many people will be intrigued by how the gospel has shaped your life story. Know how to authentically, winsomely share how Jesus has shaped who you are, and be ready to share that story.
Can you share your story in a short, winsome way?
9. Invite them into community.
Because we’re created in the image of a Triune God, we were created and long for community. However, most people don’t feel close to others relationally, even though they might live close to others in proximity. Inviting someone into your church community — where people can taste the goodness of life amongst the people of God — is an incredibly powerful tool for mission. Throw parties, celebrate holidays, watch sports and create a culture where others feel welcome.
When’s the next time you’ll get together with friends from church? Who could you invite?
10.Share the gospel.
Too often we’re effective at developing friendships with non-Christians without being honest about our desire to see them reconciled to God through the work of Jesus Christ. People should get to know us in such a way that they’re not surprised when we bring up spiritual topics. The gospel is intrinsically powerful — unleash it from its cage and see what happens. Be bold and be amazed at the way lives are changed.
Do you have any friends where the other person would be surprised if you shared the gospel with them?
Living on mission is a difficult, glorious mess, but when we take practical steps of faith to live on mission for Jesus, His assuring words from the Great Commission become more precious and real than ever: “And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).
Discover more practical resources to help you share the gospel and live on mission at WhosYourOne.com.
Published August 10, 2021