The Most Missional Thing You Can Do This New Year
Ok, so the title might be a little bit of an over-exaggeration. But, it doesn’t mean this isn’t something worth thinking about. What really is the most missional thing that you and I can do in 2019? By missional I mean how can we get more involved in moving towards others with the good news of Jesus? I often wonder how we, as a church, can best support all the different kinds of people in our community to embrace a missional lifestyle. How can we best equip the university student, the mother of four children, and the full-time accountant to embrace a lifestyle of mission? All of their situations are so different that it seems unlikely this can be solved with a neat, cookie-cutter approach. This is why I think one of the most missional things we can do to kick-start this new year is to pray, listen and plan.
To make that a little more specific, you could sit down to pray, listen and plan over two things:
- Your Time
- Your Finances
Take a diary out or even just write up a Monday – Sunday timetable and write out how your average week usually looks. Fill in all the blocks and then pray. Ask God if there is anything he would like to change. Ask him if there is something you should remove. Ask him if there is something he would like you to add. Ask general questions first and then get more specific. Then simply listen. This can be really difficult for us because many of us don’t expect God to guide us in this way, but be open, be patient and just write down what comes to mind. You may be pleasantly surprised. If nothing comes to you at all then just ask God to direct you and use your general wisdom to plan out your timetable. Use Biblical principles to guide you and come up with something that allows you enough time for work, family, rest etc. whilst allowing you to get involved in missional activities. To give you an example, Michanne and I do something really simple. We (plus some others from church) invite over neighbours, non-Christian friends and colleagues for dinner once a fortnight. Through these dinners we just love people, build friendships, pray for them and look for opportunities to share Jesus. It’s as simple as that. So, the first thing to look at this year is the way we use time.
If you haven’t got a budget then I would highly recommend you get one. I honestly was never an organised, planning kind of person, but one day my type-A German friend told me that I really should have a budget! I haven’t looked back since. It’s been so helpful. It’s not just helpful for everyday life, but it’s a helpful way to help to intentionally involve ourselves in mission. Mission doesn’t just cost us time but it often costs us other resources like money. Maybe you’ll budget to take a non-Christian friend out for coffee once a fortnight. Maybe you’ll put aside some cash each week, ready-to-go in your wallet, so that the next time you see someone in need you can give it away to them. I don’t know what it might be for you, but God does. So, get a budget in front of you and pray, listen and plan. Making room in our timetables and finances in order to be intentional toward others with the gospel may well be the most missional thing we can do this year!