The DNA of our local body is one where being missional is not optional but expected. By God's grace, people come with or develop hearts that realize they have been saved by grace and are now commissioned to be God's missionaries to the world. I can't say enough about how committed and passionate our body is to making Christ known in our community. So, why is it so hard to consistently meet our neighbors? Why is it so hard to be an influence in the community? Why is it so easy to find ourselves going weeks and maybe even months without engaging the community we desire to serve? This reality makes it clear to me that passion and a heart for Christ to be known is not enough for it to actually happen.
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Missional Game Plan
Think about it, there are many people who desire to get in shape. What happens if they say, "I know the benefits and I am passionate, so tomorrow, when there is time in my day I will begin." What is the likelihood of this person beginning their workout routine? They might, but I am convinced that the probability is higher that something will compete for the disposable time that was desired to be allocated toward working out. I think you would agree that in our culture to not schedule intentional time toward important matters, is to fail before you begin because things will always come up. Think about the important things in our life like date nights, time with our kids, prayer time with our spouses, discipling others, our personal time with God, etc. Are there any in that list that you have not scheduled intentional time to make sure they happen? Are there some on that list that you have scheduled? Which ones are you more consistent with, the scheduled ones or the ones you promise to fit in your week?
The lesson learned is no different when it comes to evangelism. In fact, I would say it is even more important because the spiritual battle that accompanies evangelism is fierce. People aren't jumping out of their seats to engage a culture that hates their king. We would rather do something a little more winsome. Hopefully, the argument is convincing that you need to have a specific and intentional game plan as to how you will engage the culture around you, just like you have a schedule when you are in school as to what days you have classes. I would also say this is very important as you disciple. You must have scheduled times in your training of others where you will share your faith. If not, I can almost guarantee that you won't be faithful in this area. I say this from fifteen years of doing both. It is plain, when I plan, we engage consistently, when I don't plan, we don't engage consistently.
This past summer the women in our body ran circles around us (the men) in the realm of evangelism. They met consistently throughout the summer and engaged our neighbors consistently. The men shared their faith periodically but it was no where near the faithfulness of the women. Was it because they love Jesus more? I hope not. Was it because they were courageous and we were scared? Well, I think we were both nervous so that wasn't the reason. The reason for their faithfulness is simply, they had a clear plan so there was no question what they were going to do on that day, during that time. For the men, things would come up, other "pressing issues". There was always a reason why we shouldn't go out and therefore our frequency dwarfed that of the women.
The First Step
Resolve to make a plan to be missional and schedule specific times in your week to engage your community. Whether you are leading your family, leading a disciple, or leading solely as God's servant, planning is the first step to faithful and consistent ministry to your community and neighbors.