A person can go to work, do his job well, and go home or he can go to is place of employment, work hard, and engage with people while using God-talk in informal conversations.
A person can take a lunch break and eat alone, or he can go to lunch with a co-worker in order to just talk…and offer to pray over the lunch (thanking God for the food and the other person with whom he is eating).
A person can pay the person at the grocery with a cheery “have a good day!” or he can use the sales clerk’s name (most employees wear name tags), show interest in the person, and ask how her day has been going when paying the bill.
These three examples are only to show the difference between living for our routines or living on mission. To live on mission is to see the needs of others and to act on those needs with extra love and care.
To live on mission is to live out 2 Corinthians 5:15. “And He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf (NASB).” That means seeing people for the hurts they may be experiencing. We become God’s ambassadors since we are the only Bible that some people will ever read.
Living on mission is not a program. In fact, it almost never adds hours to your busy week. It is just living intentionally. Doing the same things you would normally do, but living with new eyes.
I live most of my days in inner-city Philadelphia, Pa., but even here I can live on mission or just follow a routine. Living on mission means taking off the blinders from my eyes and seeing the opportunities that God has given to connect me with people who have no hope. Smile. Talk warmly. Wish people well.
That begins a relationship that will allow Jesus to shine through. It is what He did with Zacchaeus and the woman at the well and the sinners of his day. He built relationships with them. He especially loved reaching those that others overlooked.
Living on mission means:
- Being open to what God wants for today. (This is harder than it sounds!)
- Looking at people from their perspective. Most people want someone to be a friend and to say a kind word or to offer hope.
- Being warm and friendly with people. I love the acrostic that explains how to be FISHers of men. Friendly. Initiate. Try to get their Story (of their life or what they are dealing with today) and give them Hope. Friendly. Initiate. Story. Hope. The hardest part may be getting started. Say things that show you love God, such as “God bless,” or “I will pray with you about that,” or “I feel for you,” or “would it be okay if I told some friends in my church about that that situation so we can all pray for you?”
- Realizing that God will lead people to you if you will be open to living on mission.
- Feeling comfortable by smiling and saying “hi.” How can we impact others if we refuse to acknowledge that they matter? Every waitress matters. Every employee matters. Every maid at a hotel matters. All people are important to God.
- Living your faith out naturally. Don’t be intimidated by your faith. Use God-talk (words like church, pray, Bible, God) in natural conversations. Assume the other person is not offended if God comes into your conversation as you are talking casually.
Many people never consider God can use them in great ways. It is fulfilling, fun, and God’s name is blessed. It can happen anywhere.
I heard of a lady who was asked what she did for a living. She said, “I am a disciple of Jesus, disguised as a secretary.” I love it!! She is living on mission while she is working at her job. The most important thing is to have open eyes to see the ways God can and will use you. Ask God to help you live on mission as you begin your day tomorrow. You will love it!! – By Ed Lewis
Editor’s Note: Ed Lewis is executive director of CE National a church effectiveness ministry. While the main offices of CE National are located in Winona Lake, Ind., Ed spends most of his year living in one of the poorest areas in the East Coast—inner city Philadelphia. Living in an impoverished, high crime area allows him to have a fresh perspective on how to help church leaders. He loves the city and the people there. But he especially enjoys seeing how God is changing lives. He and CE National are active in helping believers to live on mission.