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Mission 101

We have so many exciting events coming up this season, all of which are designed to connect us with our neighbors in love and service.  Our vision for Coats & Cookies, the Community Spaghetti Dinner, and our annual Advent Evensong (December 1) is to invite our neighbors into our church family, and, more importantly, into God's family through Christ.

Inviting people can feel uncomfortable, and it can be difficult to know where to begin!  So we've put together a quick guide on being missional in your everyday life.  

MISSION 101 | P.R.A.Y.

You may hear "mission" and have a very specific image in mind.  Perhaps you believe mission only happens in international contexts, or that "evangelism" is reserved for those called to vocational ministry.  

The truth is that living missionally (or, living in a way that attracts outsiders into the family of God) is a call for all of us - introverts and extroverts alike.  As we approach these all-church events, we'll be taking a few small steps in hopes of seeing the kingdom of God advance in real life, in real time, in our cities and neighborhoods and families. 

To keep it simple, we broke it down into a very fitting acronym: P.R.A.Y.

P | BE PRESENT

[BEFORE THE EVENTS]
In order for us to invite our neighbors in, we've got to know them first!  All this requires is thinking intentionally about the spaces we already inhabit in normal life.  Ask God for eyes to see your coworkers, baristas, bankers, neighbors and friends as potential brothers and sisters in the faith.

[DURING THE EVENTS]
We also want you to be present at our upcoming events!  So do your best to show up!

R | DO YOUR RESEARCH

[BEFORE THE EVENTS]
By "do your research" we really mean know your audience.  The person you're inviting has a life, a story.  So, if you know that a particular family member has a deep history of mistrust of the church, be gentle in your approach of inviting them in.  Perhaps these events will be a safer space for them than a Sunday service.  Be patient and non-defensive with coworkers who ask a lot of questions about our gatherings.  Remember, the goal is to invite them into a family, not win a debate!

[DURING THE EVENTS]
At the events, approach new friends (strangers) with gracious curiosity.  Ask them about their lives, the families, their work, and what they enjoy.  Learn their names, their favorite sports teams, etc.  People feel safe when they feel seen, so let's give them space for that!

A | TAKE ACTION

[BEFORE THE EVENTS]
We all know that it takes persistence to get folks to show up to things.  So, commit to doing all you can to see your loved ones hear the good news!  Follow up with the people you invite.  Get their numbers and text them the night before to confirm they can attend.  If they don't have transportation available, offer to pick them up!  In the same way Jesus didn't wait for us to come to him, we don't wait for others to show up at church.

[DURING THE EVENTS]
Consider inviting new friends to our services and future events.  Again, the goal is to have the good news of Jesus proclaimed to and embraced by all people in our cities - and we have a gospel message ready to go every single Sunday!  Let them know when our services are, get their contact info so you can follow up, and even offer a ride!  

Y | BE YOURSELF

As believers, we believe the same Holy Spirit lives in each of us that empowered Jesus in his earthly ministry.  The Spirit will lead and support us as we show up missionally in our lives, as we navigate how to invite people into God's family, as we take action to give them every opportunity to experience His love.  So don't worry about becomming a different version of yourself.  The person you are is the person God has called and equipped to do this work.

And, of course, PRAY!  

Pray for these events as we prepare for them as a church.  Let's ask God to multiply the efforts of planning, the energy of serving, and the love of the Spirit.  Let's humbly expect Him to blow us away with His abundance.  We are so eager to see what God does this season.

 

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