For our purposes, a Missional Practice is defined as a task that we set our minds to that is an act of obedience to the command of Jesus to go and make disciples. Although we can certainly engage in Missional Practices anytime, and anywhere, more often than not they are things we do with intentionality and focus. In other words, a Missional Practice is something that we do on purpose, and not necessarily the result of a spontaneous prompting of the Holy Spirit. Missional Practices are typically things that we plan to do before hand, or even end up on our calendar. Below are some examples of effective missional practices that are designed to be used to reach out to the people we commit to connect with in our weekly gatherings.
LISTEN When we are seeking to reach a person for the Lord, the very first step is to pause and listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit. The Lord may lead you to act on one of the examples below, or He may provide guidance that is very specific to the person you are seeking to engage. Spend five or ten-minutes in complete silence, asking the Lord to impress upon you His heart for the person. If you hear something, do your very best to act on it as soon as possible. If not, simply ask God to bless your actions and move forward in faith with one of the examples below. More information about listening to the Holy Spirit can be found in the section on daily devotional time on page 18.
BLESS How could you intentionally bless the person you are reaching out to? What could you do that would be a kind, positive action towards them? Can you relieve some burden or area of stress? Can you do some good deed for them? Could you give them a gift? Could you say something uplifting to them? Be very careful to do this out of a spirit of genuine love for the individual, and not in an effort to manipulate them into attending church.
OFFER PRAYER Sometimes one of the easiest ways to engage with a person is to ask if they need prayer. By telling the person that the Lord has placed them on your heart and that you would like to pray for them, they can come face-to-face with the reality of Jesus. Consider offering to pray right there where they are (if appropriate), rather than only taking their prayer requests home. If through their prayer concerns you uncover additional ways to minister to them go for it!
TESTIFY Is the person you are trying to reach going through any particular situation? Do you have an experience of God giving you strength, peace, courage, help, faith, or whatever else was needed to endure a similar situation? Could you briefly and casually share that story with them to give them hope or help? What about God’s blessings in your life? Has God blessed you in some wonderful way that deserves to be shared with the world? Sharing a personal story about how God has touched your life can be a powerful opportunity for others to learn about the Lord.
SHARE THE GOSPEL Most people do not understand The Gospel. In Matthew 23:19, Jesus says that Satan can snatch the Gospel of the Kingdom out of a person’s heart if they do not understand it. If you hear a person talking about Jesus, the Church, or any related spiritual subject there may be an opportunity to simply ask “Do you understand what the Gospel is?” If they say yes, maybe you could ask them to share their understanding with you. Then, you can share yours with them . If they do not understand, you might ask if they would let you spend a few minutes explaining it to them (scheduling a shared meal or coffee is helpful here). If you need help learning how to explain the Gospel, please post in our Facebook group or ask your Group Leader for guidance.
EAT OR DRINK Does the person you are trying to reach eat food? Of course they do! What if you invited the person out to lunch, dinner, or coffee maybe? Inviting the person to your home is a far better use of this practice than going to a restaurant or coffee shop, however either can be a great way to connect with a person.
INVITE What normal activity could you invite this person (or their family) to join you in? Are you taking your kids to the park? Is there a movie or event you are planning on attending? Have you been thinking about going to the lake? This does not have to be a special event outside of your normal schedule (although it could be!), but really is just a chance to share your normal life with them.
SAY YES A fantastic way to engage with a person is to simply say “yes .” If a person invites you to join them in some activity, they are inviting you into their world! Even if the thing they are inviting you to is not something you would normally do, it is a an opportunity to connect with them on their own ground. Jesus was often condemned for eating and drinking with “sinners. ” Those adventures probably took him to places, and into situations, that he may not have otherwise been involved in. However, they also are what enabled Him to reach the lost! Don’t risk getting entangled in sin, but try to err on the side of “yes” when invited somewhere.
SHARE A SCRIPTURE Like sharing a testimony, sharing a scripture can be a spectacular way to engage with a person in the middle of their everyday life. Maybe you know about a particular area of difficulty in the person’s life that could be helped with a passage of scripture. Maybe during your house church gathering a person comes to mind during the scripture lesson, or perhaps one of your daily readings brings a person to mind. This is can be a very casual way to engage a person with God’s Word. Just saying something like “You know, when I am going through situations like yours (name it specifically), this scripture is one that helps me through.” You can either read it to them, or write it on a piece of paper. You could even text or message them! In person is always better, but use whatever means is necessary.
BE CREATIVE There are an unlimited number of ways to represent the Kingdom of Jesus to a person. Pray, and be creative! There really is no “right” way to do this, but we know that doing nothing is definitely the wrong way! Use your own ideas and methods, and then share them with the group so everyone can benefit from your experiences.