Wednesday, April 20, 2016

City Notes 25: A Field Guide for Everyday Mission Part 2 of 3

City Notes 25: Books in 30 minutes or less

City Notes are more than a book review. They are meant to provide you with direct quotes from some books I've read in the last year, so you can get a taste of the overall theme of the book and then begin to chew on what your life might look like if you applied what you read. 

Here are links to the previous City Notes books:

Everyday Mission Ways 33-64: What Does an Everyday Missionary Do and When Does Everyday Mission Happen?

Ben Connelly and Bob Roberts, Jr. wrote A Field Guide to Everyday Mission, and created as a companion piece, a couple years ago. Here is the previous post on the book:

A Field Guide for Everyday Mission: Ways 1-32

And here is the second set of questions and answers for Ways 33-64.

Question 3: What does an everyday missionary do?

Answer 1: Everyday missionaries see the big picture.
Scripture 1: Acts 17:16-31

(33) Know the things that shape culture: Watch movies and TV shows, listen to music, read books. At least find reviews of the major ones and know enough to see points of brokenness and engagement.
(34) Visit public places one Sunday morning: Go to a park, running trail, coffeeshop, or store. See what the rest of the world does while you're in a church gathering.
(35) Hang out in your 'hood on a Sunday morning: Same as #34, but do it at home. See who's out, watch interactions, talk to folks, even make brunch and invite them over.

Answer 2: Everyday missionaries see the ground-level view.
Scripture 2: John 4:1-30

(36) Travel regular routes: Walk or bike the same route, or take the same public transport each day. Meet others on the same journey; share your story and get to know theirs. Build relationships on your commute.
(37) Walk your dogWalk when your neighbors are outside. Strike up conversations. Invite them over.
(38) Be the kind of neighbor everyone wants: Keep your yard presentable, make sure guests don't block driveways. It's even as simple as waving "hi."

Answer 3: Everyday missionaries rearrange their lives for the sake of others.
Scripture 3: Acts 9:1-22

(39) Designate a "ministry budget": Allot a percentage for mission and ministry in your monthly spending, saving, and giving. It doesn't have to be huge; just the fact that it's there will help you use it.
(40) Find a new hobby: Not stoked about video games, cycling, or model cars, but know folks who are? Become stoked about people, and prepare to be dominated, out of breath, or have gluey fingers.
(41) Move: It's a big commitment. But it's what a missionary does. Where do you have a passion? Pray a ton, get over your fears – and to an extent your logic – and go!

Answer 4: Everyday missionaries grow in love for others.

(42) Remember birthdays: Other than social media prompted messages, birthdays are more and more forgotten. Be the one who remembers: a wish, card, or small gift display values and care.
(43) Build a backyard campfire: Regularly invite neighbors into your yard. Accompanied by s'mores, crackling late-night fires often open the door for sharing stories and sharing life.
(44) Display imperfection: Instead of hiding faults, mistakes, sins, and conflict, talk about your humanness, and the fruit God produces as He continues to redeem it. Our hope can be an answer to hopelessness.

Answer 5: Everyday missionaries rely on God the Spirit.
Scripture 5: John 15:1-17

(45) Practice reliance on God: Starting each day in a prayer admits a need for God's power. Reading the Bible displays a need to know Him and His character. A journal allows you to confess, repent, and humble yourself.
(46) Pray before conversations: Whether a meeting, business call, friendly chat, or first date, pray before it starts, for God to lead your words, help you model His character, and open doors.
(47) Practice humility: Humility functionally displays a belief in God's control. Work on your sense of entitlement, desire for justice, and need to be right, and consider others before yourself.

Question 2: When does everyday mission happen?

Answer 1: Everyday mission happens when our mission field sees the choices we make.
Scripture 1: 1 Peter 2:11-3:22

(48) Treat those who serve you better than they deserve: The waiters, assistants, janitorial staff, drivers, and housekeepers who surround us, greet them by name. Get off your phone before you check out of a store. Tip well, even if they did a horrible job. Show dignity, kindness, grace, mercy, and the love of Christ.
(49) Sit at the bar: Restaurant bars are great places to strike up a conversation. Leave your table or booth, pray that God opens a door, and introduce yourself.
(50) Use your business for your community: Bless your shoppers, diners, and those who use your services. Donate to organizations. Through generosity and service, allow people to ask "Why?"

Answer 2: Everyday mission happens in ordinary moments of life.
Scripture 2: Matthew 14:13-33

(51) We eat twenty-one meals each week: Eat as many of those with folks in your mission field as you can. Go out with them; invite them over. Skip the sack lunch once or twice a week, and eat with others.
(52) Watch the game together: Pro football happens every Sunday and Monday. Even better, college ball happens Thursday through Saturday. Find a team to root for, or watch that week's rivals.
(53) Don't like football? Pick your favorite sitcom, drama, or reality show, and throw a watch party every week: Why watch alone when many others will watch it too?
(54) Hang out in your front yard and porch: Play, cook, hang out, and live where others have access to you. Many of us remember the good old days when this was the norm; recreate that culture.

Answer 3: Everyday mission happens when we patiently listen.
Scripture 3: 1 Corinthians 3:5-11

(55) Ask good questions: Show them you care about them, their beliefs, and their desires. "When do you feel like that?" "Were you afraid?" "How did you respond?" "What concerns you most?" "How are you doing with it now?" "Tell me more ... " and "Why?"
(56) Follow up: Anyone can fake listening while the conversation is happening; you show people you actually care by remembering, praying, and following up a week later.
(57) Plan more time than you think you need: Don't interrupt, don't glance at your watch. Be willing to go long, for the sake of an unhurried, truly deep conversation.

Answer 4: Everyday mission happens when done together.
Scripture 4: John 13:31-35

(58) Practice the Tom's Shoes principle: Instead of buying a $100 pair of jeans, buy a $50 pair and use the other $50 for a cause: clothes for someone else, an organization you support, etc.
(59) Don't segregate: Hang out with folks, regardless of their faith or unfaith. Let them meet each other, find common interests, laugh together, maybe even offend each other, and enjoy the time.
(60) Encourage others: Set a goal to compliment things others do each day. Often the first idol to overcome is simply "me" – encouragement is a great way to force yourself to notice others.

Answer 5: Everyday mission happens on holidays and special occasions.
Scripture 5: Leviticus 23:4-44

(61) Throw a Super Bowl party: Everyone watches at least this one game every year. Apply this principle to the World Cup, Oscars, or season premieres. Cultural events can be used for mission.
(62) Invite people to life celebrations: Birthday parties, weddings, and other life events are great times to bring friends together. Find ways to mention that God is the center of your celebration.
(63) Invite people to Thanksgiving and Christmas: The holidays can be lonely; bring people into your celebrations and give them the chance to experience love and blessing.
(64) Tell true stories of cultural celebrations: Recite the Christmas story to your extended family. Tell the story of St. Patrick around Irish pub grub. Host an egg hunt in a way that tells the story of Easter.

If you'd like to read and watch some more quotes and video clips about Everyday Mission, check out: A Field Guide Conversation with Steve Timmis Jeff Vanderstelt Helen Lee Matt Carter.

Father, love us. Jesus, lead us. Spirit, embolden us.


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