This is the third primary commitment of a missional-incarnational church’s infiltration of society. If the church is living an intriguing new lifestyle that is so marked by goodness that it makes the gospel attractive, then to truly be effective it follows that this lifestyle must be lived in close proximity to not-yet-Christians. Paul took this seriously in his mediation of the Corinthian factions that had split over the issue of eating food offered to idols (1 Cor. 10:27–11:1).
If the Christian church is to be incarnational and missional, as we believe the New Testament anticipates, and if it’s to abandon an us-and-them mentality, it will need to rediscover the biblical mode of impacting the world around it. The traditional-attractional church thinks about evangelism as sending out church members to share their faith with others and to bring them into the church. But the New Testament writers saw it much more organically.
My favorite book on the church and God’s mission is Total Church. I admire Steve Timmis and Tim Chester tremendously and I have learned so much from them. I can say the same for Alan Hirsch, Jeff Vanderstelt and many others that I would consider missional experts.
But eventually I had to stop listening to them.
Christians often perceive that a true missionary calling must be to the other side of the world. For some, this is a reality. For others, their own backyard is their mission field. Situated 30 miles north of Seattle, Washington, Whidbey Island isn’t exactly top of the list for church planters. Yet for Matthew and Stephanie Erikson, this small town is precisely where they were called to be.
Missional is not an event we tack onto our already busy lives. It is our life. Mission should be the way we live, not something we add onto life: “As you go, make disciples.”; “Walk wisely towards outsiders”; “Let your speech always be seasoned with salt”; “be prepared to give a defense for your hope.”
We can be missional in everyday ways without overloading our schedules. Here are a few suggestions...
This is a fantastic article that will help encourage your personal movement to increase your Gospel Footprint within your Circle of Accountability.
It is so easy as we Look Out to neglect to connect with God and not only align ourselves with His mission, but to enjoy Him and be conformed to the likeness of of Jesus. As the article states: when we are like Him, we can trust that we will be missional as He is.