By Peter Meier | January 15, 2016
A Facebook post by Church Planter Kyle Blake caught my eye.
As an urban missionary, and pastor, I find that my most productive ministry days aren't ones where I'm sitting in my office, they're days where I'm walking the streets.
This morning, in the rain, I walked the neighborhood around our church for a little over an hour. Jesus was certainly with me because I saw God do some awesome things in that hour: begin to open doors with community organizations, allow me to share the Gospel and pray with a couple guys, and allow me to connect with another couple guys that I haven't talked to in a bit.
I want to challenge my pastor friends, and everyone else, to get out of your office or home and go for a walk. Ask Jesus to open your eyes as you walk, and be ready to see things that you have not before.
Thank you, Kyle! Thank you for sharing your experience and encouraging all who call themselves “Child of God” to get out and do what Jesus commanded a long time ago, “Going, make disciples of all nations…”
Our versions translate that Greek participle as “Go.” That’s okay I guess, except for the fact that many understand it to be a command, “Go far away…” or “Go somewhere else...” to make disciples. Really, Jesus is telling us that we are to be making disciples as we go, wherever we are, in our own contexts, homes, families, neighborhoods, workplaces, schools and gathering places. As you are going, make disciples.
I’ve often said that when Jesus said, “GO” he meant “Get Out!” Get Out of the pews! Get Out of the church building! Get Out of your comfortable bubble and Get Out into the world – into your own personal mission field, wherever that might be! Get Out among people who may not be like you, but who need Jesus just like you do. Get Out where you can strike up conversations, where you can do real ministry, caring for people in their need, and where you will learn how to love your neighborhood and your neighbors.
The best example of this is Jesus Himself. He spent the majority of his time outside the Temple and synagogues. Jesus got out among the people, especially the poor and marginalized, the outcasts and sinners. His disciples learned as they were sent out, as they were on the road and in people’s homes, and in the marketplaces with Jesus.
If the church exists to do God’s mission, then to do the work of the church (“church work”) means we need to Get Out!
Questions for Discussion
1. Why do we often think of “church work” only as serving and doing tasks in the church building or only as done by professionals? What difference would it make to think of “church work” as the people of God engaged in God’s mission in their daily life?
2. Where do you need to “GO” to make disciples?
3. How does the Great Commission (Read Matthew 28:18-20) inform and direct your daily life?
4. What needs to happen in your church to create a culture of “going?”
5. Brainstorm a list of the people you see and places you go every day. What does your list tell you about your mission field? What mission prayers does your list suggest?
Resources You Can Use
Seven Reasons to Consider Not Requiring Office Hours for Ministerial Staff, a blog by Sam Rainer.
Joining Jesus on His Mission, Greg Finke. Simple, powerful and applicable insights show you how to be on mission and recognize where Jesus is already at work in your neighborhoods, workplaces and schools. Also check out the Dwelling 1:14 website.
Missional Essentials, Brad Brisco and Lance Ford. A Bible Study focused on experiencing God’s mission in your daily life.
Pray for your neighbors and your neighborhood. http://pray4everyhome.com/ will give you a list of your neighbors by name and address along with daily email prayer prompts. Individuals and churches can sign up for this mission tool.
Interested in creative ideas for prayer walking? Order iPray by Jim Buckman. This book offers simple, practical ways to use prayer as a Great Commission tool.
Mission Moments is the e-newsletter sent by the Center for U.S. Missions to bring information and encouragement to all who desire to share God's great love in Jesus Christ with others. Permission is given to copy this article for distribution within your congregation or organization. Please credit the author and the Center for United States Missions. For more information contact the Center at (952)-221-0362, or visit our website: www.c4usm.org