02 Dec Neighborhood Missionary
At the beginning of November, I had the opportunity to go to an evangelism conference. The speaker was Rev. Greg Finke, and he and his wife have a ministry called Dwelling 1:14. The type of evangelism that he encourages isn’t another program to add on to our already busy schedules. Rather, it is about making evangelism part of our lifestyle. It starts with recognizing that, as God’s people, we do not go out on a mission for God, but with God. As the title of his book puts it, “Joining Jesus on His Mission.”
Jesus is on the loose in our communities, and we join him by becoming missionaries in our neighborhoods. That means we intentionally get to know the people that God puts in our lives. We become intentional about meeting those around us in our neighborhoods, at school and at work. As Pastor Finke puts it, “Jesus can do more with two people who are beginning to talk with each other than he can with two people successfully ignoring each other.”
The name for this ministry comes from John 1:14, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” This is the Christmas story. What we celebrate at Christmas is the fact that God became a human being in the person of Jesus Christ. Why did he do that? John tells us that God became flesh so that he could make “his dwelling among us.” That means he came into the neighborhood. He lived among us, and he didn’t ignore us. He was intentional about having a relationship with sinners.
Jesus was sent on a mission and he calls us to join him on his mission. Jesus says to his disciples, “As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you” (John 20:21). We continue the mission that started on Christmas when we form relationships with people. God continues his work through us. Now we, the redeemed people of God, dwell among the lost. We become the hands, the feet, and the voice of Jesus so that others will know his love. Love came down at Christmas and it continues to spread through you and me. Merry Christmas!