Following Jesus, fulfilling His mission

Surprise the world – what it takes to live missional lives

This series is about how we can reorient the rhythms of life in order to have a missional impact on the world in which we live.
And it begins with considering what missional living looks like.

Colossians 4:2-6 (NLT) 2 Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart. 3 Pray for us, too, that God will give us many opportunities to speak about his mysterious plan concerning Christ. That is why I am here in chains. 4 Pray that I will proclaim this message as clearly as I should. 5 Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity. 6 Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone.

For many Christians the big “E” word causes them to break out in a cold sweat. Bring on heart palpitations. Or has them running for the hills.

Then there are those, like my friend Darren that salivate at the opportunity to talk with someone about Jesus. Illustrate Knights; lady.

But most don’t feel much like evangelists nor perform very effectively when trying to act like evangelists.

Whilst the Apostle Paul understood his gifting as an evangelist, he writes as though all believers are to be evangelistic in their general orientation.

Consider the text from Colossians – Paul asks them to “Pray that I will proclaim this message as clearly as I should…” – ie pray for Paul the evangelist in his proclamation; and they are to “Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity. 6 Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone” – ie. they are to be evangelistic in word and deed.

In other words pray for the evangelist Paul in his proclamation of the Gospel, and live in word and deed in such a way as to provoke unbelievers to question their beliefs and enter into an evangelistic dialogue.

Pray, & live questionable lives. Any believer can do that. No sweaty palms. No palpitations. No running. And let the evangelists do their best work.

In brief, suggests Frost, our task is to surprise the world! “Evangelistic mission works effectively when we are living generous, hospitable, Spirit-led, Christlike lives as missionaries to our own neighbourhoods – and when the gifted evangelists in our midst join us in sharing Christ with our neighbours.”

Puts forward a model of missional habits – BELLS – bless, eat, listen, learn, sent. He released it as a free document to church leaders across the world as an ebook, and did not want to write this book.

Today is the introduction message.

The book used to have the title “Five Habits of Highly Missional People” and lays out 5 habits or 5 rhythms of life that missional followers of Jesus live their life by. Following Jesus, fulfilling His mission.

  1. Missional living is grounded in prayer – 2 Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart. 3 Pray for us, too, that God will give us many opportunities to speak…
  2. Missional living is Christ centred – … that God will give us many opportunities to speak about his mysterious plan concerning Christ.
  3. Missional living is dangerous – … that is why I am here in chains) deeds of mercy and compassion, extending the goodness of God’s kingdom on earth in the name of Christ.
  4. Missional living requires clarity – 4 Pray that I will proclaim this message as clearly as I should.
  5. Missional living lives wisely – 5 Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity.
  6. Missional living is gracious and attractive – 6 Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone.