We are all called to live missionally. Although in different capacities, the bottom line is that as believers, we are called by Jesus to live this way. It is easy to segment missions into trips that we take to Africa with our church, volunteer work we do at a local school, or times when we go feed the homeless in our city. This is not wrong thinking by any means and in fact Jesus calls us to serve others in these same ways. The book of James says: "Anyone who sets himself up as 'religious' by talking a good game is self-deceived. This kind of religion is hot air and only hot air. Real religion, the kind that passes muster before God the Father, is this: Reach out to the homeless and loveless in their plight, and guard against corruption from the godless world." However, we tend to limit ourselves to missions as described above, and are therefore unable to recognize the need and opportunity for missions in our everyday lives.
It’s easy to rush through our everyday activities and to-do lists trying to check as many boxes as possible. But, what if you were able to accomplish all that you needed to do in your day, and at the same time actually invest in those you men and women with whom you interact? You see, a lot of ministry and living with a missional mindset revolves around relationships. At the end of the day, we all crave to be known deeply by others, and to be understood. We have a great opportunity to love those around us, as well as show them a glimpse of hope and light in an often dark world.
How do we practically live this out? What if you intentionally went to the same cashier’s till at the grocery store, the same hair stylist, the same teller at your bank, or the same local coffee shop – getting to know the person working and becoming a ‘regular’. What if you incorporate this missional mindset into what you already do on a daily basis? But instead of focusing on checking the boxes and trying to get everything done, you took the time to start slowly building relationships with these people that you already interact with regularly. Rather than being just another face they see crossing their path throughout the day, you become someone they recognize and look forward to seeing.
Sure, you’ll probably never be best friends with him or her, and it will take a while to gain a little rapport, but think about the lives you’ll slowly be impacting! I can think of no better way to live missionally than to invest in those around you – all for the greater good of the Kingdom. The goal is simple: invest relationally with those you interact with daily – at shops, work, etc. What this will require of us is great. It will require use to be bold and to engage – even when we’re tired, are having a horrible day, or just want to be alone. It also requires us to be a little more sacrificial with our time than we might care to be. As Citizens of God’s Kingdom, it’s time that we put some of our selfishness aside and give all of ourselves to those who God places in our paths everyday.
Allison Peabody is a staff team member at Awaken Movement UK. She currently lives in Wanstead, London, UK with her husband, Joel, working to help plant a movement of kingdom disciples who desire to live missionally in their community.