By Dustin Willis
In a rapidly changing world, one thing remains the same: the gospel of Jesus.
But, in order to be effective, our approach to reaching and helping those in need cannot depend on what we have always done.
If we want to reach every neighborhood and every nation, we must redefine the way we as the Church fulfill our role in the Great Commission.
Making the decision to live out mission in our everyday lives must become the new ordinary. But how do we do that?
Speakers at February’s Send Conference in Southern California offered five ways to redefine ordinary in order to live on mission:
1. We must redefine our priorities. “It’s all about knowing Him. Jesus being your addiction, not your addition.” – Francis Chan
A church can be known for many things—its theology, music or demographics. How many churches are known for loving Jesus?
We have been known for what we’re against. What if we were known by what we are for? We have been known for teaching information. What if instead we sought for life transformation?
God calls us to love Him. The church must be known once again for loving Jesus and loving our neighbors.
A church that is addicted to Jesus will keep worshipping Him as the first priority in every Sunday gathering, every program and every community outreach.
2. We must redefine our drive. “The mission of the Church is to share the gospel, so we can’t be content just gathering together while there are people outside who don’t know Jesus.” – Trip Lee
People cannot call on a Savior of whom they have not heard, and Heaven forbid, we keep the greatest news there has ever been to ourselves.
Trip Lee reminded conference attendees in Southern California, “The antidote to apathy is urgency.”
If we love our neighbors, we will share the greatest love we’ve ever known. And we won’t wait.
3. We must redefine our callings. “Your job, your skills and your passions are meant to be used where you live, work and play for the glory of God.” – Vance Pitman
Acts 11 describes the largest church recorded in the New Testament, the church in Antioch.
This church was not started by any of the apostles or by any other famous biblical figures—in fact, we don’t know who started it.
All we know is that it began with followers of Jesus who had been scattered because of persecution.
God had a plan, and through the Holy Spirit, these disciples started the church that would ultimately send Paul and Barnabas into the mission field, and in turn, change the world.
The men and women in Antioch realized that living life on mission was not only for apostles.
Like them, through the power of the Holy Spirit, you are God’s plan to reach your neighbors and coworkers.
4. We must redefine our outreach. “The good works that we are called to do should lead to a gospel witness.” – D.A. Horton
During Jesus’ earthly ministry, He proclaimed the Good News, and He didn’t shrink back from convicting hearts with truthful words. He also healed the sick and had compassion on the poor.
Jesus is the embodiment of evangelism and compassion working together. In John 14, Jesus says that the one who believes in Him will do the works that He does—and even greater ones!
The gospel and the good works of Christ are inextricably linked. This informs how we live on mission, establishing a gospel presence in our communities where we can meet physical needs and introduce people to Jesus, the ultimate Healer, Provider, and Savior.
Take stock of the talents and abilities of your church members. How has God uniquely positioned your church to be a compassionate and a bold gospel presence in your neighborhood?
5. We must redefine our perspective. “God is sovereignly orchestrating everything that happens in the world for the accomplishment of His purpose.” – David Platt
In recent years, the brokenness of our world has dominated news and social media. Refugees by the millions seek safety as unimaginable violence has left them unable to return home.
What if we saw this as a world brimming with opportunity to share the gospel? Millions of people who once lived in nations with little access to the word of God have sought refuge in nations where it’s readily shared.
We believe God is actively working amid the hurt in this world to open doors for the gospel and bring people to salvation.
The same God who is actively working through the refugee crisis is at work in your own community, and you are His plan A.
“Who knows, perhaps you have come to your royal position for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14b).
If you believe your church could benefit from discussions on how to redefine ordinary, consider joining other Christians at the Send Conference in Dallas, Texas, May 19-20, or in Orlando, July 25-26. Learn more at sendconference.com.
DUSTIN WILLIS is executive director of marketing and events at the North American Mission Board.