Missions Blog

Jul 9

Making Holidays Missional…

2012 | by Clint | Category: Local

Any time the calendar calls you to remember and honor a historical event, group, or person, do you flock to be with like minded Christians? only Christians? Every time?

I think most of us would admit that when it comes to ‘holidays’ we long to be refreshed and renewed by fellowship, not taxed and exhausted by spiritual warfare.  That’s not in and of itself wrong, but perhaps if its all you’ve ever known, you may be open to considering the following.

Have you ever taken the opportunity afforded by our culture’s willingness to let their hair down on national holidays and have you over or come to your place for some good food, drink, play and most importantly, conversation?  If not, consider the next time you have an extra day off (or even a weekend) as an opportunity to really dive into a relationship with a non-believing co-worker, family member, or neighbor.

Here is a testimony of God’s work in one DSC family’s life from this most recent holiday:

“We are bad at planning ahead for the fourth of July.  This year we had a unique opportunity to spend time with our neighbors.  After considering a few different opportunities we had with folks we cherish here at DSC, we decided to move away from comfort this once and spend some extra time getting to know our neighbors. For me (husband/father) the kicker was the recent SNAP survey trip.  We are asking these families to leave a land and church full of relational comfort and familiarity for the sake of spreading gospel truth in a dark place.  And as we do this, we want to taste it more and more as we try to (and fail mostly) at embracing the missional call of living here in Albuquerque.

It can be difficult sometimes getting to know non-believers on a deep level.  This is especially true if they don’t have the same parenting philosophy as you, don’t have any of the same theological underpinnings as you, and in fact, and may even seem to have ‘moved on’ from anything religious that might have had an influence on them in their younger years.  To our wonderful suprise, we were able to discuss deep life issues including the existence of man, world views, Biblical truth, and how that affects parenting, marriage, and even sexuality.

We really feel like our relationship with this family deepened this weekend. We can tell we are learning much about them and their hearts, and lots about their world view (which isn’t as far off from ours as we’d thought);  things we hadn’t considered before, but that still fit within a Biblical framework, and are part of God’s common grace (education, philosophy, sciences, etc.).  We are praying for more opportunities to talk, more opportunities to learn, and more opportunities to introduce them to the Jesus we know and love from the Scriptures.  And we know that God alone can draw them, so please pray for us, and for them.  You may not know our or their names, but God does.  And we pray He is after them.”

It’s likely that we all struggle with this a bit, namely, the balance between our desire to be in community with God’s people, where we feel comfortable and comforted, and the desire to get to know the lost in order to speak the truth into their lives.  Each of us needs to ask God to make us more like Christ, who did indeed retreat to small group of close followers often, but also ventured into uncharted relational waters for the sake of the gospel.  No wonder his disciples did the same, even unto death, after Jesus rose from the dead.

If thinking in these terms of investment in the lost around you feels odd or new to you (and even if it doesn’t), please make seeing and hearing Jerram Barrs on Augst 4-5 here at DSC a priority.  This Saturday Seminar entitled “Barriers and Bridges:  Loving Others to Christ” promises to be a time of wonderful teaching from a wonderfully faithful man, who longs to see more and more people come to the saving knowledge of Christ.  The seminar will take place at DSC from 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM. The cost is free.  Click here for more details about the weekend and about Jerram.