Think like a missionary

September 24, 2020

How can I think like a missionary?
Missionaries live with a deep love and compassion for those who are far from God. They are burdened for those who are lost — those who are like sheep without a shepherd. They live by the words of Jesus when He said, “I have other sheep that are not of this fold” (John 10:16). They are driven by the fact that there are people out there who are not yet brothers and sisters in Christ, simply because they have not been given an opportunity to hear and respond to the gospel. With this great burden comes three questions that are usually on the forefront of missionaries’ minds:

1. Who lives around me?
Missionaries want to discover the people who live in their city. They want to know the number of people, commonalities, diversities, languages, cultures, joys, hopes, fears and struggles.

2. Who goes to my church and the other churches around me?
Missionaries want to understand who their fellow brothers and sisters in Christ are in their city. They want to know the number of believers, the health of the churches and the reach of their ministries.

3. Who is left?
Missionaries want to devote their time and resources to those in their community who are unbelievers and have not yet had an opportunity to hear and respond to the gospel.

How can I live like a missionary?
Once a missionary has asked these three questions about your city, then what would they do?

They would:

  • Be fervent in prayer.
  • Seek to enter into the lives and communities of people who are far from God and have not had opportunity to hear and respond to the gospel.
  • Be bold and frequent in the proclamation of the gospel, calling people to repent and believe.
  • Disciple those who come to faith, teaching them to obey all the commands of Christ.
  • Gather new believers together to form healthy churches, growing them up together into maturity in Christ and developing from among them those who will lead these newly formed churches.
  • Eventually partner with churches and leaders they formed to press into other communities where they gospel had not yet gone.

Is this not exactly as the first missionaries did in Acts 13-14?

What would our cities look like if we saw ourselves as the ones Jesus sent to seek and save the lost in our own communities?

Eric Boykin, director of The Hope Initiative, developed an acronym called the P.E.O.P.L.E. plan. This acronym, taken from the life of Jesus, gives practical steps to live like missionaries in our community. There’s no better missionary example to look to than that of Jesus.

Pray fervently
Jesus taught His disciples how to pray missionally for the advancement of God’s kingdom (John 17:20-23, Matt. 6:9-15). Saturate a community with prayer by walking the streets and praying for the people you see.

Engage the people
Jesus entered into the lives of the people He was seeking to save, meeting them where they were in their brokenness (John 4:1-42, Luke 10:1-20). Engage with people through social, service, support, sports, seasonal or study activities. The goal is to build relationships and credibility with people in your community.

Open the Word
Jesus proclaimed a message of hope and life found in Him (John 3:1-21). Open your mouth to share the gospel relationally through conversations with people in the community. Open the Word through simple Bible studies for those who are interested in understanding more about the gospel.

Prepare key leaders
Jesus developed His disciples as leaders (John 21:15-19). Invest in new leaders to equip them to minister in their own communities.

Launch a ministry
Jesus commissioned and empowered His disciples (John 20:21-22). Begin a sustainable ministry alongside leaders in your community (e.g. a kids club or an adult Bible study).

Exit with care
Jesus commissioned and empowered His disciples to continue in the work He began (John 14:12-17, Acts 1:8-9). Continue to invest in leaders while passing the ministry to them.

What would our cities look like if we saw ourselves as the ones Jesus sent to seek and save the lost in our own communities? Imagine how our culture would change if we began not only to think but also to act like missionaries in our cities, towns and neighborhoods. The P.E.O.P.L.E. plan gives simple steps for us to live missionally — a life centered around the gospel.

by Zac Lyons  /  Great Commission Partnerships  /  Baptist State Convention of North Carolina

4 philosophies and 5 tips for digital campuses

The coronavirus pandemic has led churches of all sizes to discover the digital world. Platforms such as Facebook live, Youtube, Instagram, Twitter and Zoom are now common in church language and literature. Many churches that had no interest in digital media before COVID-19 are...

Coming soon: ‘RevitalizeNC’ podcast

A new podcast aimed at addressing timely topics related to church health and revitalization officially launches Monday, March 15. The “RevitalizeNC” podcast will feature interviews with leading experts in the field of church revitalization to offer help, hope and encouragement to...

EDT search team ‘moving closer’ to recommending candidate

The search committee charged with finding the next leader of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina is “moving closer” to recommending a final candidate to North Carolina Baptists as the next executive director-treasurer. Search committee chairman Noah Crowe provided an...

‘The mission moves forward’

North America is a mission field of complex cultures and diverse religious practices. Missionaries here face challenges from secularism to language barriers to a historic health crisis. Yet, in spite of the obstacles, God’s mission always moves forward. Your partnership helps make...

Deadline extended to recommend individuals to serve

The Baptist State Convention of North Carolina’s (BSCNC) Committee on Nominations has voted to extend the deadline to submit recommendations for individuals to serve in various leadership roles with the state convention and its related entities.Recommendations will now be accepted...

8 strengths of plural leadership

Several years ago a pastor friend from a nearby Baptist church invited me to share with his congregation some biblical teaching on plural elder leadership. As I waited for the service to begin that evening, a display in the church’s foyer caught my attention. It was the original...

6 questions to reframe your ministry vision after COVID-19

The coronavirus pandemic has forced us all into new rhythms. Stay-at-home orders for all but the most essential of professionals, caregivers and service providers have dramatically impacted families, businesses and government. Churches are not immune from this impact. Social...

Top 5 resources for March 2021

Every month, we spotlight five helpful resources for you as you seek to walk closely with the Lord and make disciples. Many of these resources are created by the staff of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSCNC) to help meet the ministry needs of pastors and lay...

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Stay connected by signing up for the N.C. Baptist monthly newsletter.

Select Language ^

Share This

Share this with your friends!