Two of the of the most important concepts for being missional in your city are doing what you love and finding your third place, which we’ll address tomorrow. Because the word ‘missional’ has been so overused and misinterpreted we often think missional living is some really complicated thing that it’s not. ‘Missional’ living has become a big and scary goal to accomplish when it's neither of those things.
Do you want to know the secret to missional living? Don’t reinvent the wheel; just do what you love. When we first moved to Downtown Orlando to plant a church I kept brainstorming ways to be missional. I thought maybe I needed to be one of those people who leads a Bible study in a coffee shop. Or perhaps I was supposed to evangelize every homeless person in Orlando. Maybe I should give up animal products and become a vegan? While none of those things are wrong or bad, they’re not me. I would have been doing something out of a felt obligation and most things done out of obligation don’t last. Also because they didn’t come natural to me they would have felt like work instead of something I enjoy that flows from my relationship with God and love for broken people.
What I was already doing was hanging out with a bunch of guys and girls that work at a local cigar store. I was doing it regularly and it was easy. I didn’t dread going there. I loved it and did it often. I remember the day that I realized I was already being missional and didn’t have to start a new ministry, make new friends, or reinvent myself. From there on out, I dove into the environment that God had placed in my life as an outlet for missional living. Two interesting things happened after that. First God increased our circle of influence. Because we were fixtures at the cigar store we grew to know the regular clients as well as the staff. We now regularly engage with professional athletes, politicians, wealthy businessmen, and the homeless to name a few.
The other amazing thing that happens when you do mission out of your passion is that your capacity increases. Now because missional living comes naturally to us we have the capacity to invest time in both the homeless and homosexual communities. Before this would have felt like a burden but now it is more of a joy because we’ve created more space and energy in our lives for missional living as we’ve seen fruit over the past three and a half years.
Do you frequent a coffee shop? Teach a yoga class? Go to art museums? Volunteer? Then let me congratulate you because you already have networks through which to reach your city. Don’t stop doing the things you love. Do them more! And with the intention of forming transformational relationships.
Think about what passions in your life you can leverage to impact your city with the Gospel. Be sure to share them below.