Thursday, April 21, 2016

City Notes 25: A Field Guide for Everyday Mission Part 3 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 65-101: 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 are the previous posts on the book:

A Field Guide for Everyday Mission: Ways 1-32

A Field Guide for Everyday Mission: Ways 33-64

And here is the final set of questions and answers for Ways 65-101.

Question 5: Where does everyday mission happen?

Answer 1: Everyday mission happens in the darkness.
Scripture 1: 1 Corinthians 9:19-27

(65) Attend community events: Instead of creating your own celebrations, join what's already happening in your community. Even if you feel out of place, it's a great way to be involved.
(66) Go to their home: Everyone loves "home field advantage." So when you get invited to your neighbor, coworker, or friend's home, grab a gift, honor your host, and be a good guest.
(67) Find the middle ground: Eat out, get dessert or drinks, see a movie or play, and meet beforehand to talk, or play basketball or golf.

Answer 2: Everyday mission happens in our own homes.

Scripture 2: 1 Peter 4:9-10

(68) Throw a party: Fire up the grill, grab the Slip 'n Slide for the kids, put on some music, and spend extra time and money to serve the best food and drink you can afford. And provide beer and wine.
(69) Be open to surprise visits: Make it known that your door is always open, your TV always available, and extra dinner always made. Other than time reserved as family-only, use your home generously.
(70) Have folks at your table often: Every meal doesn't have to be a big party or fancy feast; simply invite another friend or couple, eat the spaghetti you were planning on, and share it.
(71) Make extra: The biblical concept of love others promoted generosity. So whether dinner, brownies, garden crops, or whatever else, make more than needed and give it away to whomever God leads you.

Answer 3: Everyday mission happens when we incarnate ourselves.
Scripture 3: John 1:14-18

(72) Make a local watering hole "yours": Go to a place often, and get to know the workers and regulars. Have meetings, and even have a Bible study there.
(73) Work out with others: Gyms can be hubs of community. Join with others; talk between exercises; take a class; bless the staff.
(74) Buy local: You generally get to know workers at "non-chain" stores and restaurants better than at corporately run ones. And you bless your city by supporting local businesses in your mission field.
(75) Learn a second language: Learning a language that isn't primary in your context shows great honor, care, and intentionality, and enhances your ability to connect meaningfully with others.

Answer 4: Everyday mission happens where our family is involved.
Scripture 4: Matthew 18:1-6

(75) Double (or triple) date: Be intentional about dates and share some with other couples. Especially if you have kids, a grown-ups only evening provides the deepest conversation.
(76) Consider public school: Most of your neighbors attend and share an interest in that school; the door's wide open, the door for great, local relationships.
(77) Join a PTA or become a room parent: Bless teachers, administration, kids, and other parents by providing treats, parties, and organization for the school.
(78) Coach your kids and their friends: In sports, music, or whatever, encourage kids, battle their idols, meet parents and other coaches, and display a gospel-infused view of competition and fun.

Answer 5: Everyday mission happens in our church families.
Scripture 5: John 15:1-17

(79) Admit your own need: Before you can call others out in their sin, invite them to speak into yours. It exhibits humility, and ears more of a right in their eyes when you speak into theirs.
(80) Do "church discipline" often: The first step – addressing one another's sin – should be far less heavy-handed formality and much more a function of everyday discipleship, in loving community.
(81) Share missional stories with leaders: Even if leaders don't get it, your mission should benefit the church. Celebrate the doors God opens and fruit He bears.
(82) Involve not-yet-believers in the church: It won't likely be your first step, but it should be a step down the line: involve them in your life, community, and at some point, events and gatherings within you church.

Question 6: How do I share the Gospel without killing the relationship?

Answer 1: We share the gospel by being open from day one.
Scripture 1: Romans 1:16-17

(83) Talk about God: Speak naturally about Him, faith, community, and convictions. Essentially, speak about God as normally as you would the other things you consider important in your life.
(84) Ask what people think of God: Literally everyone consider that question, and most will answer. Even if some answers scare you, it's a way to see how others think about deep things.
(85) Talk to not-yet-believers the same way you talk to Christians: Discuss hobbies, passions, work, or whatever you talk about in Christian circles  95 percent of conversation can look the same.
(86) It's okay if God doesn't always come up: God, faith, and spirituality won't work themselves into every conversation. You'll have another chance. Enjoy time together without looking for the "open door" every moment. 

Answer 2: We share the gospel as we pray for  and with  others.
Scripture 2: 1 Kings 18:20-46

(87) Pray before a meal: Simply explain that you believe food to be a blessing from God, and that you want to offer thanks. Offer thanks and ask God to bless your companion(s), then move on
(88) If prayer offends them, don't: On the complete other end of the spectrum, if praying would kill the relationship, skip the previous suggestion and still enjoy your food as a blessing given by God.
(89) Submit needs to the true Provider: Tell them you'll pray for their pain, struggles, or need. If they ask why, explain your view of God's ability to meet every need. If they'll let you, pray on the spot.
(90) Talk about things you're thankful for: Make this a regular rhythm – not just at Thanksgiving. Take to pause and rightly direct your thanks for the things for which you're grateful.

Answer 3: We share the gospel through a "ready defense."
Scripture 3: 1 Peter 3:13-16

(91) Introduce yourself: Stay outside instead of immediately shutting your front door; cross the street. Be intentional with conversation at work or school; don't be silent.
(92) Talk about books or movies: Instead of working on a flight or stuffing headphones in on the bus, publicly read books or watch movies that start conversation. Or ask what they're reading or watching.
(93) Activities cultivate conversation: Board games are fun and reveal competitiveness. Songwriter circles display pain and passion as you shape each other's craft. Book clubs, baking, beer- or wine-tasting, and knitting invite you to enjoy the activity and talk.
(94) Help neighbors – and admit your own needs: From the stereotypical cup of sugar to your time, bless your neighbors. And turn to them for help as well: create a culture of uninhibited sharing. 

Answer 4: We share the gospel by applying it to everyday situations.
Scripture 4: Ephesians 4:11-16

(95) Practice the "one anothers": Realizing your own imperfection helps you develop grace for others' imperfections. Have those around you encourage, exhort, rebuke, and correct you.
(96) See how the gospel applies in every facet of life: You'll have a hard time applying it to their situation if you've never considered your own. What do you disbelieve about God in your fear, anger, laziness, misplaced joy, hopes, etc.?
(97) Apply the gospel with other believers: Many have been taught not to meddle; to leave them alone. But if we can't speak the gospel to other believers' situations, there's far less likelihood we'll do it with those who don't yet believe.

Answer 5: We learn to share the gospel by practicing sharing the gospel.
Scripture 5: Romans 8:18-25

(98) Over-explain Christian practices: As you bring not-yet-believing friends into the life of believing friends, things like prayer, Bible passages, and communion are teaching moments: explain each and why it's important.
(99) Watch your reactions: Respond to small frustrations in gracious ways. Ignore office gossip. Display patience in difficulty. The "small moments" of life are platforms to display your faith.
(100) Go deep: Be proactive and go beyond surface-level conversations. Ask "Why?" Get to the heart of the matter. Show people you truly care, and be willing to admit your own messes, too.
(101) Give yourself grace: When  not if!  you mess up, misrepresent God, offend someone, speak truth without love, or even botch the gospel, give yourself grace. Jesus was the only perfect human; the rest of us are in the process of being transformed into His likeness. And transformation is a long road!

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.

Next post: City Notes 26: Notes from a Failed Missionary on Rediscovering Faith Part 1 of 3


No comments:

Post a Comment