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Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples. John 13:35 NLT
Several times in the life of the church I pastor, The Indian Creek Community Church, we’ve done a project called The Church Has Left the Building. On a selected Sunday, we have gathered briefly and then dispersed across the city to serve. It wasn’t that we hoped to do a good deed and then break our arm patting ourselves on the back. We wanted to meet real needs and open the door for future partnership. Simply put, we hoped to expose our congregation to community needs. I'm grateful that Tom Bassford coined these terms because they are easy to remember and they give clarity to the process of missional living.
Exposure opportunities are easy on-ramps to service. The hope is that we might be awakened to the needs and the potential around us. We want our people to build relationships and serve as if we are the hands and feet of Jesus. We want to express his heart of compassion in both large and small ways. We hope to introduce people to a lifestyle of engagement.
All too often the only time the neighborhood sees the church gathered is when they see the cars surround the facility on a Sunday. While gathering and equipping has a place, Jesus said that the world would know we are his disciples by our love. That calls for relationship and for engagement. This step means you serve often enough where you know the names of the people. You learn the needs and you allow your heart to feel their feelings. You engage your gifts and give sacrificially.
Eventually the need is for everyone to find their mission. We all become missionaries when we take on ownership. People who are entangled think about the mission like it is a central part of their own life. They may stay awake at night imagining solutions to problems or wake up early with new ideas.
Every follower of Jesus is called to be a missionary (one who lives SENT) and most of us don’t get paid for what we do! The mission field starts at the doorstep of your home. You can go halfway around the world but you don’t have to in order to be a world changer.
Are you allowing Jesus to expose you to the needs around you? Are you regularly engaged in meeting needs in a specific place or ministry? Are you entangled so that mission is an integral part of your everyday life?
Week 5, Live Out, Day 4, Devo 24