Livingmissionally isn’t recognized by spell check but it sure is talked about a lot in our carved out, Christian part of the world. We make missional living out to mean so many things that I wonder if it’s lost it’s meaning. One thing we easily forget in all of our missional talk is the importance of the gospel moving out, verbally, from one person to another. Of course, there are times when a person discovers the gospel on their own. And God is the only one who can change a heart. But most often another person is the medium for the message -expressed through language- in the context of love and trust. When the gospel is shared in the context of a relationship where love has been expressed and trust has been earned (at least in some form) big things can happen. Sometimes love can be expressed and trust can be built rather quickly, as fast as a few minutes on some occasions. Sometimes it takes longer. Somewhere along the way, however, the actual information has to be presented. The gospel message has to come across the wire and be heard by the person on the other end.
I’m part of an organization that talks a lot about going. We like to say that “go” is in our DNA and flavors most of our tactical moves. We work mainly with students who are 18-24, and it’s a privilege to engage a person in that window of time when they are so full of passion but still wondering if they are buying the God (or non-god) that’s been sold to them. Sold to them by their parents, taught to them by a pastor, or shared by their grandma on their social feed. Whatever goods on faith they’ve been sold, they’re finally on their own and deciding for themselves what they really believe.
These young people are walking around their campuses with their backpacks full of academia, but life just doesn’t make sense apart from Jesus. Without Christ, they’re in a bad space even if they don’t realize it. Come to think of it, so is my neighbor who leaves their trash can at the curb too long, my kid’s coach who yells too much, and the young person working behind the counter at the grocery store with the tattoo that I can’t read. Apart from Jesus Christ, life is coming off its tracks. They’re in a bad space. We’re in a bad space. And here’s something I wish I thought about the night of that concert with my wife…the same is true for that skinny-jeaned, bouncing guitar guy with wandering eyes.
A heart without Jesus is a dark heart. Darkness is darkness. A dark heart is a sick heart, and a lonely heart. Without Jesus life just doesn’t make sense.