Living Life Together in Mission

I look up from weeding the flower beds and wave across the street as Dan pulls up. “How was the fishing? Any bites?” I ask. “Pretty good! We got a few. Not too many mosquitoes today, either.”

Dan (not his real name) is my neighbor in Boston. He lives directly across the street from the house that my husband and I just moved into. All I know about Dan so far is that he’s a veteran, he’s rented the house across from me for several decades, and he knows a good fishing spot that he and his adult son frequent. This means that—so far—Dan and I don’t have much in common. But he is my neighbor, which means that Jesus has called me to get to know him and love him. He is in my community, which means he is in my mission field.

This June I joined several others on a panel at our WMCLB convention day to discuss what it means to be together in mission. This starts by identifying the mission field around us—our coworkers, neighbors, and people we run into regularly—and then looking for ways to sacrificially love, serve, and connect with them in order that they may learn about our loving, serving, reconciling Savior. I’ve found that this happens most naturally though relationships.

As I settle into my new neighborhood, I’ll look for ways to build deeper connections with the people I meet. Weeding isn’t my favorite pastime, but being out in front of my house where people pass by gives me a chance to interact naturally. I’m not much of a fisher-woman, but the next time I see Dan heading out with his son, I’ll mention that my husband is quite a cook, and perhaps they could bring some fresh-caught fish to put on the smoker, and I’ll put together some side dishes so we can have a meal together on our back patio (because hospitality is one of my giftings). And I know a young man on the core team of our church plant who does like to fish, and if we invite him to join us too, now we’ve got a real connection building.
I think we sometimes shy away from being “on mission” because we think it’s some crazy, intense way to live. But I don’t think it’s all that. It’s just intentional.

  1. It’s identifying people in our lives who are not believers yet (or creating opportunities to meet non-believers—join a book club, the PTA, etc.).
  2. It’s finding intentional ways to deepen relationships with the people in your circles (go for coffee, host a playdate).
  3. It’s building relationships in community with other believers (invite both Christian and non-Christian friends for coffee or a meal).
  4. It’s naturally sharing with your friends about your life—which means naturally sharing about how Christ impacts you daily. And when your community of friends includes both believers and non-believers, it becomes even more natural.

In short, it’s living life—but living life together in mission.

Mary Anderson and her husband, Rev. Kristian Anderson, are working with North American Mission and Cultivate New England to plant Grace Hill Church in Boston, Massachusetts.

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