I’m currently reading Life On Mission, a new book by Dustin Willis and Aaron Coe. In this book the authors communicate the importance of living an intentional life…an intentional life that is built on mission…our calling to share our faith to our world. In the book the authors write “God never intended for us to live out the Christian life alone.” This statement evoked the following question within me: What am I doing to influence my world with the love of Christ that resides within me?
Too many Christians are marginal Christians, they say they have a relationship with Christ but they produce no spiritual fruit. I am not indicting Christianity because I too, often find myself living in a bubble with my Christian life. Let’s face it, it’s just easier that way.
However, the Christian life was never intended to be easy or comfortable. It was intended to be lived out in our public lives. In our relationships with our neighbors, with those on our kids’ ball team, with those we work with, or basically, with those with whom we do life.
It’s easy to just keep Christ to ourselves instead of putting ourselves in a socially awkward situation, however the Bible doesn’t provide us an easy out from those “socially awkward situations.” Colossians 4:5 states: “Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.” This text is not necessarily talking about outsiders in our lives but outsiders to the Gospel of Jesus. Basically people who don’t know Christ.
This text in Colossians implores us to make the most of the opportunities we have with the lost people in our circles of life, or those with whom we have influence, in order to share with them the difference that Christ has made in our lives. This is what a life on mission is all about.
The authors also pose some thought provoking questions in the book, a couple of which are:
- Name a person(s) you have been investing in who you could invite into your biblical community?
- Who is in your life who needs to hear the Gospel message? What’s stopping you from sharing?
These 2 questions provide a basic and simple framework from which we can share the hope of Jesus that resides in us. There are two elemental parts of this framework:
- Invest and Invite – This is the action of investing in the lives of those lost people with whom we have influence and simply inviting them to attend church with you. This is extremely basic and a vast majority of the unchurched haven’t attended church because they haven’t been asked. Most unchurched people have stated that they would attend church if invited by a friend.
- Go and Tell – This is where we go beyond simply investing in the lives of others and inviting them to church, to getting our hands dirty in the lives of others. Let’s face it, life is messy, and when we invest in the lives of others and seize an opportunity to share the love of Christ that is within us we get messy too. People are most receptive to receive the hope that resides in us when they are going through a crisis. I recently heard Jeff Iorg, President of Golden Gate Theological Seminary, state that the best time to share the hope that lives is us, with other people in our lives, is when those people are hurting. Hurting people need hope and we have the greatest hope of all!
No matter if you invest and invite or go and tell…be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.