"You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
- Acts 1:8 -
Several years ago, Kim Hammond of Forge America was the guest speaker at our annual church leadership retreat at the Chiara Center in Springfield, IL. He was speaking to us about "missional living." This was a fairly new term to me. I had a basic understanding, but he broke it down to a level that literally changed my daily interactions with others.
Missional living is loving where you are.
Missional living is essentially loving the people you encounter on a daily basis, being a representative of Jesus Christ in every bit of your life. It doesn't mean you have to travel halfway around the world because you can be a missionary to those around you. All of us have unique relationships where we can share the Gospel.
Of course, everyone understands what it means to love and be kind to others. But what about the flip side?
How do you treat the cashier at the McDonald's drive thru or the guy who checks your receipt as you leave Sam's Club?
When you're in a hurry, it's easy to dismiss other people. You may not intentionally be rude, but you might overlook opportunities to be kind to someone. You never know what someone may be going through.
Have you ever thought about how the guy you show your receipt to at Sam's Club may have gotten distressing news earlier in the day? Maybe instead of a impersonal interaction, he needs a warm smile and a genuine greeting. Sure, it may not be a big deal to you, but it may be a huge deal to him.
As a Christian, your interactions with non-Christians are thoroughly examined under a microscope. People are looking for you to fail to prove that Christians are hypocrites. Don't be the person in your church clothes with a grumpy face and bad attitude during Sunday lunch time at Chipotle. (I've seen that.) Don't be rude to the cashier at McDonald's and then make a show of praying before your lunch. (I've see that, too.) Don't ask your waitress for a million requests and then leave no tip. (I've seen that as well.)
For those reading this who are not Christians, I will fail. I will be a hypocrite at times.
As much as I want to live a life like Jesus, I'm not perfect.
Forgive me for those bad days. I hope not to have them, but they'll happen.
So how can you start living missionally? What daily interactions can you change that can impact our world for Jesus?