Part 16 of series:
The Mission of God and the Missional Church
How Can I Be Involved in God’s Mission When I’m Already Too Busy?
As a pastor, I’ve often heard something like this: “I could get pretty excited about being a part of God’s mission in the world. But, frankly, I’m overwhelmed already. I’ve got way too much to do right now. What should I do?”
For most of us, involvement in the mission of Christ will alter our life priorities. If we are going to invest our time and energy in God’s work, we can’t continue to do all of the other things we have been doing. We’ll need to make new choices in light of new values.
This process of reevaluation happens best in a community of Christians who are asking the same kinds of questions as you are. Question #1 would be a great discussion starter in a small group. In time, God will make his priorities for your life clear as you seek his will together with other believers.
That last sentence is so important. As a Christian, you have acknowledged Jesus as Lord and are committed to seek his will for your life. You live now under the reign of God. God will guide you into a new way of living as you seek him. In addition to sharing your quest for guidance with other believers, I’d urge you to ask God directly. The Holy Spirit dwells within you, not only to empower you for mission, but to make clear where in God’s mission you belong.
Beware of the tendency, however, to get overly involved in worthy Christian causes without giving up other activities. Well-meaning believers can exhaust themselves by taking on more than God intends for them at one time.
At the same time, we must realize that living as a missional Christian is not simply a matter of taking on new ministries. It is also seeing every part of your life as an opportunity for ministry. You can participate in God’s mission in the world at work, at school, at the gym, in your volunteer work, in your financial priorities, etc. etc.
Learning to live missionally at all times is also something for which you need Christian community to be a source of inspiration, support, discernment, encouragement, and accountability. Unfortunately, many churches and many pastors see Christian service and mission narrowly. You can serve the Lord by doing something in the program of the church or by going on a mission trip. But the workplace and the classroom are not places for ministry, except perhaps for evangelism. Missional thinking broadens our vision. It doesn’t discount the value of what we can do in explicit Christian activity. But it helps us see all of life as a context in which to live as citizens of the kingdom of God.
In my experience, when Christians realize that their entire lives are meant to be missionally focused, they get excited. They are energized by the new challenges and opportunities that go along with seeing every part of life as an opportunity to serve the Lord and advance his mission.
So, why don’t you take time right now to consider how you might live out the values of the kingdom of God in your daily life? How might this impact the way you do your work? How might it touch your relationships? You can begin today to contribute to God’s mission by living intentionally for his purposes.