Last weekend we had the pleasure, as a church family, to take a day away from the business of London and think about what it means to be missional. We had Dan Strange teaching us how we can confidently look at the world through the word and show our friends, family and colleagues that it is Jesus who they’ve been looking for all along.
What does it mean to be missional?
I think being missional is living to make Jesus known to people, whoever they are, wherever they’ve come from, and whatever their situation.
This is something for all of us to do. We’re all on the mission field all the time, whether it’s in the office when we spend time around non-Christian colleagues, when we sit next to someone on the train and get chatting (trust me, it does happen!), or when we live with those who don’t know Jesus. It’s part of our everyday life and something we all need to be thinking about.
One of the things Dan taught us was that most people don’t stop and think about why they’re living the way they are. There isn’t an equivalent of a church day away for our non-Christian friends. Living your life faithfully for Jesus in the small things will make a world of difference. It might be that which encourages people to stop, think and ask a question that could open the way to a conversation that will change everything.
So, how do we do it?
It probably feels like a pretty daunting task to live all of our lives to point people to Jesus. We probably feel so out resourced. We can be tempted to think that the world has so much more of a of an allure for people. But He wants to encourage us.
He says to his disciples: "Therefore go and make disciples of all the nations, baptising them in name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." (Matthew 28: 19-20)
This was, humanly speaking, an impossible task. Without that last sentence, this would have been crushing. Jesus knew this, which is why he went on to reassure his disciples that he was with them. We could easily miss that he is speaking in the present tense. Jesus’ presence with them was a present reality, just as it is for us today. Let’s take hold of that truth and treasure it! So to answer the question, we are missional by depending on Jesus.
As I’ve said already, living an authentic life that models dependence on Jesus really changes lives; it certainly changed mine. I had the blessing of living with my two best friends at university, who also happened to be Christians. I observed them at their best and worst and I saw their small acts of faith every day. This made me ask questions. After observing this for a while, when they invited me to CU I said yes. They had invited me into a group of people who were genuinely interested in me. I slowly began to see how Jesus was the answer to those aches that just wouldn’t fade. It all started with a question. It ended with me finding Jesus.