Summer of Mission
Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.”
As people made in God’s image and redeemed by Jesus, we are called to be and made into missionaries sent by God in Christ. Mission has become a part of our nature as followers of Jesus, woven into the fabric of everyday life. Because this is true, mission can’t be contained or limited to a time of the year or an event, but there are certain times of the year that provide more missional opportunities due to the natural rhythms of our city. In Columbus, the summer is one of those times of the year. There are movie nights and plays at different parks in the city, crowded streets for gallery hop and a multitude of festivals, neighbors spending more time on their front porch, block parties and neighborhood events, and a plethora of other opportunities to get out and meet the people of Columbus. So with these wonderful opportunities coming up, I wanted to take a few minutes to just remind you of a few things. Not to tell you anything new or groundbreaking, but just reminding you what it looks like to live in step with the gospel of grace and the great commission.
BUILD RELATIONSHIPS – Ultimately we were created for and redeemed for relationships. The worlds brokenness all comes down to the fact that our relationship with God and with one another are severely broken and in need of healing. Keep this in mind when you meet new people. All of their sin issues and all of their hurt produces or is a result of broken relationships. So be genuinely interested in people and ask them their stories. Be understanding and caring as they share.
INTRODUCE PEOPLE TO COMMUNITY – If relationships are what we are created and redeemed for, introducing people who don’t know the Father to his family seems like a natural next step. Lesslie Newbigin claimed that the best defense of the gospel is the community that believes it. This is because the family of God puts the gospel on display, making it tangible and palpable to it’s hearers.
SHARE MEALS WITH PEOPLE – When the Son of Man came, he came eating and drinking. So much so, that the religious elite of the day accused him of being a glutton and a drunkard. But Jesus ate and drank with purpose. Tim Chester said this, “Jesus did evangelism and discipleship round a table with some grilled fish, a lot of bread, and a pitcher of wine.” He came eating and drinking with sinners like us, like everyone, in order to share the good news of grace and kingdom come. Food and drink create environments ripe for gospel opportunity and facilitate intimacy like nothing else. When you meet new people that need to hear the gospel, invite them over for dinner. Maybe even with people in your Community Group!
DECLARE THE GOSPEL – While all of the aforementioned ways of living on mission are important, they can’t stand alone. Ultimately, the deepest need people have is not to have a new friend, or new community, or to consume food and drink that temporarily satisfy, but to consume true food and drink that eternally satisfy—they need to feed on Jesus! Therefore, we must share the gospel with people. I know this is an unpopular idea, and frankly, can be incredibly uncomfortable at times and possibly even cost you relationships, but Jesus deserves worship and glory from each and every person he created. And he has redeemed and sent us to proclaim the gospel of redemption and reconciliation to multiply his worshipers in our city
May God bless you and bear much fruit through you during these summer months.