Jesus is knocking on the hearts of his church to see if they will become what he desires for them to be in this season of ministry.
In a world so divided, God has created a way to reach people who do not look or act like you—missional engagement. Missional engagement is seeing a need and developing partnerships that enhance the name of Christ in the community or area that the church is investing in.
Here are three ways for you and your church to move from the pew to the streets to serve.
Engage the Mission Field.
As your heart warms to the needs of the local church and around the world, begin to pray singularly and corporately for God’s divine guidance to lead you to an organization or field where he wants you to serve. For some that will be across town but for others, it will be in a far-off place where as people are longing to hear the gospel preached observed, and lived out. I once met a pastor who sought God’s call and felt the need to go. As he pondered and prayed, he knew the Spirit was leading him to Cordova, Alaska, over 4,000 miles from his home in New York. By intentionality seeking God, God changed the address of his ministry address, and thus people living across the continent were impacted for Christ.
What mission field is God calling you to? Where is the Spirit leading you? It will look different for everyone and the church, but the call is the same, nonetheless.
Equip the Saints.
The local church is charged with equipping leaders to become missionaries to the local and global community. For the local church, it can be the role of the pastor and local mission society inside the church to share opportunities. But someone needs to lead this charge and do it with a heart to share Jesus with others. Equipping the saints is not about gospel preaching techniques but about providing tools for future evangelism. These tools are as essential as narrowing the focus to serve, opportunities to serve, observing where to serve, and mirroring evangelism techniques to share the gospel lovingly with a nonbeliever.
The work before a mission trip or entering the neighborhood is as important as what will take place on the field. Have a willingness to step in and lead the local church into God’s vision to reach the lost locally and around the globe. Developing a solid prayer lifestyle will inoculate participants against the fowler’s snare as he tries to discourage and dissuade the team from serving others.
Expand the Kingdom.
Expanding the kingdom is about taking back territory that the church has allowed the devil to have a field day. But not anymore; it’s time to expand God’s kingdom, and it begins with you and your local church.
While the model of sending funds and a limited number of people to different cultures worldwide to serve, many churches have failed to invest at home in their neighborhoods. One has to ask, “Can the mission field be near and far?” The simple answer is yes. The church can and must tackle investing locally and worldwide to spread the gospel because God is needed everywhere.
Begin to look around you and find out where God has been pushed aside, ignored or outright not wanted. That is where God is calling the church, to serve in these dark spots in your neighborhood, city or state.
In my office at the church, there is a large portrait of Jesus knocking at the door, seeking to come in (Rev. 3:20). While the image is in an outdated frame, the picture of Jesus knocking, seeking to enter the home (our church) resonates with me today. Jesus is knocking on the hearts of his church to see if they will become what he desires for them to be in this season of ministry.
Will you or your church answer that door?