We’ve got a Labor Issue.
In Luke 10:2 we encounter these words from Jesus:
And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.
Apparently, for Jesus, the issue is not the lack of harvest, but rather the lack of laborers. He says the harvest is plentiful. It’s a labor issue. The workers, the missionaries as it were, are low in number.
So what does Jesus encourage His disciples to do? He says to PRAY. And He says to pray earnestly. To keep pleading and asking for more laborers to be raised up.
So here’s the deal. If you are a follower of Jesus, then this prayer is being answered. The laborers are YOU, ME, and ALL Christians. Not a select few. Not just the people in “full-time” ministry. The Bible knows nothing of Christians who don’t see themselves as missionaries or laborers in Jesus’ harvest.
But that doesn’t mean we know exactly what to do. We need help. That is where Mission 365 comes in. You can watch the video below to get a summary or you can just keep reading.
The mission is every day. Thus the 365. But let’s break down those numbers a bit to help give us a framework for the mission.
Mission 365 is about 3 People, 6 Networks, and 5 Commitments.
Who are 3 people that you know that are not followers of Jesus? They might be people who readily admit they don’t follow Jesus or they might be people who have simply been disconnected for quite some time.
We all have various networks of relationships. These 6 are offered to help us think strategically about who we know within these various networks to identify 3 People. You may find that you have more than 3 people, and that is okay! The point of all of this is to help us engage intentionally in the mission that Jesus has called us into. Here are the 6 networks:
- Familial – who in your immediate and extended family is not following Jesus?
- Vocational – who do you work with that is not following Jesus? If you’re a student, your vocation is school. So who do you know at your school?
- Commercial – think of the places you visit frequently…restaurants, stores, coffee shops, salons, etc. Who do you know in these places that are not following Jesus?
- Geographical – who lives close to you that is not following Jesus? The neighborhood you live in is not an accident. Do you know your neighbors?
- Recreational – do you play on a sports team? Do you have kids who play sports? Are you involved in a club or group of some sort? Who do you know in these settings that are not following Jesus?
- Social (media) – Are you on social media? How can you look to redeem those spaces and form genuine connections with people? Who are you connected within the social media spaces that are not following Jesus?
Once you pray through your 6 networks and identify 3 people, what do you do then? As you read through, don’t get hung up on the order. This isn’t really a linear process, but if you don’t know where to begin, always start with #1. Here are 5 commitments you can make to live out Mission 365:
- PRAY for them – Don’t underestimate the power of prayer. Commit to praying daily for the 3 people you know. If you don’t currently know anyone well enough, pray that the Lord would give you 3 people as your pray through your 6 networks.
- SERVE them – Find a practical, tangible way to bless the 3 people you identified. Though there is a calling to speak the gospel (see below), there is also a calling to serve people through deeds of kindness. Whether or not someone ever comes to saving faith, there is value in you caring for them as a fellow image bearer.
- GIVE them Gospel-Centered Resources – As the relationships develop, oftentimes it is helpful to pass along helpful gospel-centered resources to your friends as you get to know their questions and concerns. Look for a future blog post on some suggested resources. But in the meantime consider forwarding them a link to a blog or article you found helpful from a trusted resource like The Gospel Coalition or Desiring God. Was there a recent sermon that spoke to you? Consider passing the link along to your friend and let them know that you were impacted by it and thought they might be interested.
- INVITE them – Invite your friend to join you at a church service. Even in our increasingly post-Christian culture, this is sometimes the most effective first step for people. But for some, it might be best to invite them to one of the groups you are part of (community group, women’s, men’s, etc.). We will also be offering a Christianity Explored class in early 2019. This is a great opportunity to not only invite your friend but attend with them.
- SPEAK the Gospel to them – Now this is the one that can be the most intimidating to people. Let me encourage you in this. If you’re looking to grow in your evangelism, one of the best things you can do is to start talking about the impact of the gospel on your life with other Christians. By growing in your gospel fluency, you will be much more comfortable when you do have the opportunity to share the gospel with those who do not yet believe.
Let’s be the church and let’s help bring joy to our city.