Our family moved from the suburbs of Atlanta, GA to Boston, MA a couple of months ago. As a Christian, moving to a new place affords all sorts of opportunities for mission. A new neighborhood means new people, new relationships, and fresh ways to engage people with the gospel. As I’ve been reflecting on the many ways God is teaching my family and me to live on mission, 4 principles have come to mind:
A Person, not a Project
If we’re not careful, we can think of mission and evangelism as a mere project. We have a goal of sharing the gospel (which is good), but we often lose sight of the person who needs the gospel. This is a person made in God’s image (Gen. 1:26) with a story, with passions, hurts, interests. Aim to love your neighbor as yourself (Matt. 22:39), not just to give an evangelism pitch. Listen to their story. Befriend them. Serve them. Care for them. Answer their questions. This doesn’t mean we have to wait months or years before we share the gospel with someone. But if we truly love our neighbors and long for them to meet Jesus, we won’t just talk, we’ll also listen. We won’t just be concerned with our agenda, but their wellbeing. As you do this you will find that your desire to share the life-giving message of the Gospel will grow. After all, who wouldn’t want their friend to cross over from death to life?
A Lifestyle, Not an Event
Many of us have been hardwired to think that mission and evangelism can only happen in the context of church sanctioned events: mission trips, church outreach events, etc. There is certainly a place for these things. But mission isn’t an event, it’s a lifestyle. The Great Commission (Matt. 28:18-20) to go and make disciples is the marching order for every believer as they go about daily life.
Here’s the reasoning behind a lifestyle of mission: Your life has been transformed by the sinless life, sacrificial death, and victorious resurrection of Jesus Christ. Why not invite people into your life to witness such a transformation? Over dinners, lunches, cookouts, play dates, birthday parties, football games, hobbies, the gym, the office, and so on. These are all things that the church shouldn’t program. Yet they are all things in which you can find a common ground with someone else and engage them with the love of Christ.
A Marathon, Not A Sprint
Marathons are long and paced. Sprints are short and fast. As you share the gospel with people, your hope and prayer is that they would hear and immediately believe. When they seem disinterested, offended, annoyed, or weirded out don’t be discouraged. View the mission as a long-term investment. If you truly love your neighbor, you won’t give up after he first rejects the gospel. You will press on, continuing to lovingly engage because your life depends on it.
Consider Paul’s conversation with King Agrippa in Acts 26:
 And Agrippa said to Paul, “In a short time would you persuade me to be a Christian?”  And Paul said, “Whether short or long, I would to God that not only you but also all who hear me this day might become such as I am—except for these chains.”
A Miracle, Not a Math Formula
Conversion is a miraculous thing. Those who were once spiritually dead are brought to life. We share the gospel and pray, but only God can open the eyes of a sinner to see his need for Christ. We may hope that gospel + sinner = conversion every time, but it doesn’t. The wind of the Spirit blows where it wishes (Jn 3:8). This should encourage us to pray long and hard for God’s Spirit to break the stony hearts of the lost and open their eyes to the beauty of Jesus.
For more, check out…
–8 Ways to Easily Be Missional (Article- Verge Network)
–The Story: An Innovative Tool to Share the Gospel Story
–Evangelism: How The Whole Church Speaks of Jesus by Mack Stiles (Book)