Watch this challenging short video from Paul Tripp about shaping your children into disciples by leading them into thinking through their lives as Mission.
In many ways, Paul Tripp is simply telling us to talk about the faith and its implications with our children. Yet its also a reminder that everything that God has gifted us with is an opportunity to witness to Christ’s love. It is a truth we need to learn and live out so that we can teach it to our children and show them how to live for God’s glory.
- What do you do to disciple your children?
- What can you change to take the first, or next step, to help shape you child in the ways of Jesus?
- Who else, besides you, needs to hear this message? How can you share it with them and help each other become more effective at influencing your children for Christ?
- Make a list of what you own. Make a separate list of what your children have. Have a discussion with your spouse and children on how you can use those things for God’s kingdom.
- Make a list of the people you know Make a list of the people your children know. Put a cross next to each person you know are Christian. Begin to pray, with your kids, each night for all the people who you know are not Christians. Then discuss how you can show and share the faith with them.
Watch some more great videos from the Verge Network
Whenever we spot spiritual openness in our friends and neighbors, we are then confronted with the huge internal question: How do I respond without totally messing them up?! Faced with what feels like a high risk on any reasonable cost-benefit analysis, most of us simply bail out or, at best, do something slightly half-hearted that is merely bemusing for our friend to witness.
A while Back Seth McBee, of Soma Communities and the GCM Collective, wrote an article entitled, “A Story of a Gospel Community.” Read how God used him to start a missional community, engage many neighbors, reach some for Christ, and send them out as disciples.
“In two weeks, in a suburban town outside of Seattle, we’ll celebrate God’s grace and the Spirit’s work through baptizing a new disciple of Jesus. This is the story of how a neighborhood can look like the book of Acts, where disciples are made and we teach and preach from house-to-house, an example of how to make disciples in our sphere of influence… in today’s context.
We moved into our housing development 7 1/2 years ago, and for the first 6 years, we didn’t know anyone who didn’t live next to us. I’m serious. I didn’t know the guy across the street. By the way, his name is Trevor, and he’s getting baptized in my backyard. But, for the first 6 years, the extent of our reaching-out to our neighbors was leading a youth group and handing out bibles door-to-door and singing Christmas carols in the dark because people shut off their lights on us. Sometime while standing in the cold singing ‘O Come All Ye Faithful,’ I started to think, ‘Maybe we need a different modus operandi for bringing the gospel to my neighbors.’…” Read More on How God turned everything around here
This is a pretty good video about the problem of Church being inward focus instead of being outward focused. How should we live as Christian’s? What should be the focus of our churches? It’s worth a watch.
Video Found here
- Host An Easter Egg Hunt. Get together with your small group or Missional Community and hold a neighborhood Easter Egg hunt. If you have connecting lawns (i.e. without fences) talk to your neighbors on either side of you and make arrangements to hide eggs on their lawns as well. Use mostly plastic eggs with Candy inside, but you could also have some hard boiled eggs as well. Send flyers out to all the neighborhood families with Kids 2 weeks in advance.
- Have an Easter barbecue. On the Saturday before Easter, invite people over for the first barbecue of the year. Have games like washers, Hill Billy golf, beanbag toss, etc. for the kids and adults to play.
- Have an Easter brunch. On Easter invite your neighbors to come over Sunday at noon for Egg bake casserole.
- Create Easter Snack Baskets For Your Neighbors. Especially if your neighbors don’t have children or grand children, they might not have much reason to get Easter Candy. Make a little gift bag for each house on the block and hand them out with a simple message, “Happy Easter from the _________Family.”
Now if you noticed I didn’t say much about overt evangelism in any of the above suggestions. That can be done. Yet, your initial goal might just be to get to know your neighbors and to create a greater sense of community in your neighborhood. Depending on where you are with building trust and friendship with your neighbors, you might want to add some Gospel elements into any of the above suggestions.
- With an Easter egg hunt, you could hide some resurrection eggs amongst the kids. Mark each Resurrection egg with a Cross. When the hunt is over, gather all the kids afterwards and talk about each item that they found. Make sure you trade a great piece of candy for the Resurrection eggs.
- Share an Easter story book or video with the children to share the real meaning of Easter. This is also a great time to give the parents a break by providing them snakes and drinks. Get to know the parents while the kids are busy with the story and supervised in the other room.
- Decorate Easter cookies. Bake plenty of Easter themed sugar cookies. Have the traditional eggs, ducks, and bunnies, but also crosses and any other biblical Easter cookie shapes you can find. Talk about how each one connects to Easter.
- Do an Easter craft. Decorate crosses, foam door hangers, wreaths or create your own resurrection scenes. There are some great resources for doing crafts and telling the Easter message.
- Hand out age appropriate Easter tracts, books or videos.
I hope this helps you take a step towards building relationships with your neighbors and possibly witnessing to the love of Christ. It almost goes without saying, but you can always invite your neighbors or friends to church Good Friday or Sunday Morning. These days are often some of the most compelling and evangelist sermons of the year and often have cool experiential elements as well in many churches. Whatever you do, do it prayerfully and know that God’s working through it.
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This is a great (and short) video from Caesar Kalinowski on two ways of viewing mission: Proactive vs. Reactive Mission.
What is your Missional Community’s Proactive Mission?
What reactive Mission opportunities is God revealing to you as well?
Go to the GCM Collective’s website and check out the great illustration that Seth McBee made to illustrate the difference between proactive and reactive mission.
Here’s another good video by Jeremy Poyner on Colossians 1:15 and Jesus being the image of the invisable God.
Our Church Plant just started our third missional community. We had a few neighbors join us as well as a woman who just joined our church plant from our parent church. Our MC evening included a meal, some wine, and the Story of God. I’ve partied numerous times with these neighbors. Since they know I’m a pastor, I’ve tried to be very conscious of not doing anything that would make them feel uncomfortable with me. So out of all the times we’ve hung out, we’ve only prayed once before a meal.
Yet here we were, the second night of our meeting, and I offered to pray before the meal. I tried to use the least “Churchy” tone and language possible. I just spoke as if God was in the room, nodding His head, listening to me. We ate, read and talked about The Story. As we ended the evening, I remembered that God was Great so I didn’t have to be in control. I remembered that he already brought these people to hear his Story. He engaged them greatly in our dialogue, and it was time to ask God to work in their lives. So as we were ending, I asked, “Before we go, is there anything you are going through that we can pray for?” Everyone asked for something to be prayed for.
The next day one of our neighbors came over. Her prayers, which dealt with conflict with a few different people, were all answered the very next day. We rejoiced over God’s goodness with our friend and neighbor. My wife and I rejoiced even more that evening as we saw her praise God on Facebook and speaking of how the amazing ways He was working in her life. Her experience and her witness would never have been possible without prayer.
Picture found here
Millions of people are getting ready to watch the Super Bowl this Sunday. Personally, I’m not a huge football fan. Usually the Super Bowl is the only game I watch all year, but even though I don’t love the game, I love hanging out with people. The commercials and the food are always good as well. Yet can one use the Super Bowl as a chance to witness?
Here are a few things to think about being Missional with the Super Bowl:
- Don’t hijack the Super Bowl. Don’t have a bible study during the half-time show or the commercial breaks. People aren’t going to appreciate a bait and switch, especially if it means missing things something they really enjoy on Super Bowl Sunday.
- Host a Superbowl party and invite some unchurched people to get to know them better. Also invite at least 2 or 3 members of your Missional Community so that relationships are formed between both groups. This will make it easier to invite them to join your MC for the Story later.
- Make it better. If you’ve been invited to a Super Bowl party already, how can you “Bring the better wine” as Jeff Vanderstelf often says? Bring the best food or drinks. Be the biggest helper to the host. How can you make things better for everyone so that people are glad that the Christians showed up at the party?
- Listen to others. As you discuss sports, the commercials, and life, listen to the stories others are telling. They will give you clues to where the Gospel can be spoken into their lives.
- See this Sunday as an opportunity to serve. Ask the host if they need you to show up early to help set up. Be quick to pitch in as needs arise, and stay to help clean when the party is over.
- Pray. If you’re hosting, share a quick prayer of thanks for the food and all your friends. Pray before, during, and after, that God might show his love thorough you and that relationships and trust might be built.
Any other suggestions?
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Picture found here along with some great ways to save on food for your Super Bowl party