It’s that time of year again. That bittersweet passage of time where the colorful magnificence of God’s creation is everywhere and so too are all the germs! It’s flu season and regardless of our cautionary vaccines or copious amounts of Vitamin C we are still at a very high risk of catching a sniffle, a sneeze or the full-on plague!
What if our mission was just as contagious as the flu? What if what God was stirring up in us and our congregations was so catching that it could not be contained? What if our faith was impulsively transmitted from person to person and neighborhood to community? How do we make our mission for Christ infect the community and transform the world?
Here are three steps to begin infecting the world:
- Present: Allergens and germs are everywhere. They’re in the boardroom, the classroom and the corner store. It’s simply impossible to avoid contact. As we develop mission strategy, we should design initiatives that are incarnationally inescapable. We must make God’s mission present everywhere in community life. What impact would your congregation (and not just the pastor) begin to have when it was intentionally present at the places of critical mass within the community? What would it look like if people simply could not avoid coming into contact with your faith community at school board meetings, sporting events, the coffee shop and the corner store?
- Portable: Engaging in God-talk today is taboo and turns off more folk to Jesus than ever before. What we can do is foster environments where people may “see” and “meet” Jesus rather than take our word for it. Where might your congregation begin working and serving in the community where people may recognize that God is at work? How may you intentionally extend invitations from the mission field to the mission hub of your congregation?
- Pliable: The mission-field is a living organism that rapidly changes with the culture. While the Gospel doesn’t change, our sharing of it should be relevant to what’s happening now in the community and the world. Our mission won’t “catch on” if it is not pliable and we are not open to shifting with the move of the spirit. While it’s more comfortable and convenient to plan mission initiatives months or even a year in advance, we must continually remain flexible to share the contagious message of Christ’s love.
As you spread the good news of an incarnational and infectious Gospel be sure to “give me a sneeze”. I’m praying with and for your congregation during this flu and faith season.
We’re in this together,