Missional In Every Season

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Article by Mandy Moler

I was introduced to the idea of missional living a few years ago. I was immediately intrigued and felt it resonate deeply with my spirit. Over the years, God has developed a passion in me to live life in a close knit community of believers who all are committed to love and serve non-believers who God has strategically placed in our lives. Even beyond those placed in my immediate circle, I feel a stirring in my soul to disrupt my own life in a way that more effectively expresses the love of God to a dark and desperate world.

Throughout this journey there have been many discouraging moments. When I don’t feel my life and attitude are changing as quickly or as drastically as I would want. When the burning in my soul to live missionally doesn’t match up with the day in and day out of life. Then I am reminded, that is the whole point! Missional living comes in the every day monotony of life. It is a heart change, a mindset, a way of life.

At its simplest, it is taking the time to have a conversation with a stranger while waiting in line at the store. It is noticing and taking advantage of opportunities to minister in tangible ways to those around us. At its deepest, it is reorienting our whole lives to minister to a place or group of people God has called us to. What I do know for sure is that all Christians are called to live missionally but that will look different for every individual. We have to view missional living and our identity in Christ as the core of who we are not just one aspect of who we are. Being a Christian should affect every relationship, every interaction and permeate every season of life.

Defining Our Core

Another way missional living can become a reality is to change what we view as the core of who we are. We are no longer husbands, wives, parents, siblings…who are also Christians. We are Christians who are husbands, wives, parents and siblings living out of that identity. This shift changes everything! We move from what we need or want or just striving to be the best version of ourselves to living out of the identity we have in Christ and seeking to honor Him and live a life of gratitude rather than obligation.

We all are familiar with the vows taken during a wedding ceremony. What if we approached our mission as Christians with the same vows made to God, instead of a spouse? For better or worse, richer or poorer, in sickness and health, in busy seasons and boring seasons, with little kids or an empty nest, in choppy waters or calm ones, as long as we lived? What if missional living became the threads that made up the tapestry of our lives instead of just one square in the giant quilt of all we are? What if we were on mission for Jesus in every season and every situation? Living on mission in difficult seasons requires a person to look beyond their immediate circumstances to the bigger picture of what God is trying to do.

But How Does it Start?

One example we can look to is the early church in Acts:

“All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” – Acts 2:44-47

“All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had.” – Acts 4:32

 

These first Christians had found something bigger than themselves that lit a fire in their souls and that spark has spread to millions around the world. The example of the early Christians in Acts is inspiring but what does this look like in our everyday lives? I have to be honest and say this is the hardest part for me to write about because I still struggle with the ways missional living tangibly plays out in life. For me, the choice to be missional or not happens when a struggling neighbor knocks on my door and my to do list is looming over my head. The battle rages internally: do I drop what I’m doing that seems very important or do I sit with the neighbor who needs to cry or vent? Do I hoard my quiet times at night or open my home and share a meal with friends, neighbors and strangers? Living on mission in the every day ebb and flow of life is often uncomfortable and inconvenient, but ultimately worth any sacrifice we have to make on this side of eternity.

Christians on mission should look like a community of believers who know that their greatest purpose is to be salt and light to a dark and depraved world. A community of believers who live everyday on mission for Jesus, being his hands and feet in small and big ways. A community of believers who dedicate the whole of their lives to the people or place God has sent them to. A community of believers who are willing to sacrifice their own hopes and dreams to pursue the greater dream of lost souls being won for Christ.

Some days I feel like I have no idea what this looks like. Other days it is a clearer picture in my mind but I still struggle to carry it out. I do know that it is not a neat and tidy to do list that we can check off at the end of the day. Being in one another’s lives is messy and hard, especially when we are dealing with people who are lost and floundering. As I grow in my faith, God reveals bits and pieces to me in a more clear picture. I am realizing the importance of including my children in this new mindset. I want them to understand the depth and breadth of the influence of sin, not only in our lives but in the lives of everyone in our community and everyone in the world. I hope to raise them to have the same eyes and heart that Jesus had for the weak and vulnerable. I desperately want them to understand that their life is not theirs. Everything they are and everything they have belongs to God and must be used for his glory and the good of others.

The words from a worship song I love sum it up best:

I’m laying down my life

I’m giving up control

I’m never looking back

I surrender all

I’m living for Your glory on the earth

This passion in my heart

This stirring in my soul

To see the nations bow

For all the world to know

I’m living for Your glory on the earth

For the sake of the world burn like a fire in me

Light a flame in my soul for every eye to see.

For the sake of the world burn like a fire in me

For every knee to bow down

For every heart to believe

For every voice to cry out

Burn like a fire in me

For every tongue to confess

You alone are the King

You are the hope of the earth

Burn like a fire in me


  1. Song featured in article by Brian Johnson of Bethel Music

This Article: Missional in Every Season, by Mandy Moler

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