Leonard Ravenhill (1907 – 1994) once said his concern for the church was how little we know of the transforming work of God that the early church experienced. Mike Breen also wrote in his article ‘Why the missional movement will fail’ that we are often so caught up in ‘ego satisfaction of a life lived for God that we have neglected a life with God.’ I believe that we have to live with God; every detail of our lives submitted to Him and fully trusting in Him. This allows us to first focus on being a disciple of Christ, which naturally leads to being a missionary for Christ.
It is on this canvas that I offer five missional New Year’s resolutions for 2018:
- I will refine my character
1 Timothy 4:7 says “discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness’ The Christian disciplines (prayer, reading scripture, faith, fasting, giving and so on) are means by which we grow to be more like Christ. Ask yourself which discipline needs to be recovered in your life and find a creative way to do it today.
- I will be part of a small group that intentionally reaches out to people who do not go to church.
One of the traits of a missional person is that they love being with people who do not have a personal relationship with God. The men’s group at our church hosts a meal in a restaurant every few months in order to do just that. Jesus gave us a good example of this kind of mission in Luke 19:5.
- I will give away something that is valuable to me.
Or pay for someone’s cup of coffee, get the next person’s food, for example.
- I will pray for opportunities to be good news.
We have all heard the sermons that challenge us to change the world and, although well-meaning, we have often left feeling overwhelmed and guilty about our lack of courage. This year, let’s take the advice Jesus gives a willing missionary to ‘go home..’ and change the world by starting where you are now. ‘For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.’ Ephesians 2:10
- I will befriend a good book.
Someone once said their best friends were books. I know this sounds like a person who needs to get out more, but this year CBOQ will be hosting a variety of online book clubs, webinars and transformational learning communities. Join a group now at baptist.ca/coaching.
Together in 2018 let us ‘abide in Christ’ in such a way that it overflows into missional work that pleases God.
Happy new year.
Congregation Development Associate