Rick Meigs, over at Blind Beggar, posted this wonderful description of missional life over two years ago. It’s worth reading again and again. Missional life involves living life, listening to God’s promptings and blessing those we come in contact with. Not complicated, but not necessarily easy.
I’ve been wondering what being God’s missional people in our everyday life might really look like. After reading a comment over at Adventures In Mercy where the person used a word picture to make his point, it gave me the thought that maybe this would be a good device to explore certain aspects of missional.
Here is my attempt at some word images. Do these help you get a glimpse of some aspect of being missional? Can you create a word image to contribute?
The Lord your God is one; so love the Lord God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence and energy. And…Love others as well as you love yourself. (The Message)
When the new neighbors move in you go knock on the door and welcome them to the neighborhood, you talk about football and fishing over the fence, you invite him to the Lucky Lab for a beer and get acquainted. You invite them over for barbecue and listen to his lame jokes with grace. When he tells you about the problems he is having at work, you talk about your struggles also and how God has helped you through them. When the wife’s dad dies, you let them know you are praying for them. When he asks about what you do with your spare time, you humbly tell him how you work down at The Bridge with street kids every other month, how you help with a homeless ministry, tutor students in reading at the local high school, and have a wonderful community of faith that you love being involved with. You live a modest low consumption lifestyle before them. You pray for them regularly and are always ready to talk about why you’re living the way you are.
I was hungry and you fed me,
I was thirsty and you gave me a drink,
I was homeless and you gave me a room,
I was shivering and you gave me clothes,
I was sick and you stopped to visit,
I was in prison and you came to me. (The Message)
You are always at work on time and don’t abuse the rules. You go to coffee with your fellow workers, share about life and family, and get acquainted with them. You listen as they share about their family problems and let them know you care and will be praying for them, acknowledging that you have worries and struggles also, but you know God is taking care of you and your family. You invite them over to your place for barbecue and a beer with no other agenda than to get better acquainted. As a co-worker inquires about your vacation after talking about their glamorous trip to Aruba, you humbly talk about your trip to Ecuador on a medical missions team. When a co-worker needs to change living arrangements and move to a new apartment, you tell him you have a pickup and offer to help. The boss asks you to do something that has the appearance of being a little unethical, you graciously and politely decline. When your fellow workers get to talking about politics, you allow that you don’t have answers but are willing to be part of the solution. You pray for them regularly and are always ready to talk about the hope that is within you.
“Do everything readily and cheerfully—no bickering, no second-guessing allowed! Go out into the world uncorrupted, a breath of fresh air in this squalid and polluted society. Provide people with a glimpse of good living and of the living God.” “Don’t hit back; discover beauty in everyone. If you’ve got it in you, get along with everybody. Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do.” “Be agreeable, be sympathetic, be loving, be compassionate, be humble. That goes for all of you, no exceptions. No retaliation. No sharp-tongued sarcasm. Instead, bless—that’s your job, to bless.” (The Message)
You’re down at the local café early for a quiet time with the newspaper over coffee and breakfast. You’re at the counter when the elderly lady next to you attempt to strike up a conversation. You’re annoyed at first until you hear God’s prompting and realize this is a very lonely person. You set aside your paper and enter into a lively conversation with her as she shares about her sons who rarely visit her and how she misses her grandchildren. You volunteer weekly at your local horticultural society where the average member is the exact opposite of you both politically and spiritually. But because you have built bridges and relationship, you can respectfully dialog with them on the issues and they listen. You are asked to volunteer for a Sunday morning actively, but you tactfully decline indicating that you and your family have a wonderful community of faith that you love being involved with and they meet on Sundays. Your drug addicted “baby” sister calls one night desperate. She can’t go on and is thinking of ending her life. You drop what you are doing and drive two hours to pick her up along with her two teenage kids (one of whom has her own two year old child). The four of them move in with your family for eight months. During this time you lead her to a relationship with the Lord. Three years later she is still struggling, but she is also walking with the Lord and growing in her relationship with him.