Missional Lifestyle. This term has become popular in some circles in the past few decades. Many well-known authors and preachers have written, blogged and preached about this way of living. Francis Chan, Matt Chandler, Mark Driscoll, Alan Hirsch are just a few who have.
I will leave it to guys like these to discuss the theological validity of this lifestyle. Instead, I want to discuss some practical aspects of living missionally. To begin, my simple definition for Missional Lifestyle is living a life that is sent.
Usually, when a person thinks of a missionary, they think about a person who is sent from their home country to live in a foreign country for sharing God with those living in the foreign country.
But what about Christians who live in their own country? Is it possible to live a sent life when you stay in your own country? I think so. It has been said before, “You do not have to move to the other side of the world to be a missionary.”
I am going to share some traits that I believe are important for someone to live a missional lifestyle. These traits apply no matter what context you live in. Warning – this lifestyle is not for the fainthearted!
- Remember that this world is not our home. No matter where we live, we are foreigners. We are simply traveling through to our destination. So, we should live like we are here temporarily. One practical thing that comes to mind is avoid accumulating stuff. We all know that we can not take it with us. Why not invest in things that will last for eternity?
- Live a life of integrity. Now this is a tough one. About ten years ago, I decided that I was tired of juggling a double life. I want others to know me, good and bad. I want to be the same person no matter who I am around. So many Christians have what I call a “stage presence”. We turn it on when we are supposed to be righteous. Regardless of where we do life, let’s be the same person. Allow people to know us, and the Person who is in us.
- Live life with a sense of urgency. We all live as if we have forever to live. We know it is not true. A missionary realizes that they may only be in a certain country for a short period. So, they do not waste a lot of time on useless activities. Also, when we are in a foreign context, our senses become sensitive to the needs of that culture. We need a renewed awareness of the needs around us.
- Recognize the different sub-cultures. It is easy to see our culture as all the same. If we look closely, we can see many cultures. I am not talking only about ethnicity. Missiologists refer to this as the different domains within a culture. Government, Education, Entertainment to name a few. Think about how the culture is different within each of these domains. Is God sending you into one of these domains to be a missionary?
I plan to blog later on each of these points. But, for now, I have some questions.
If you call yourself a Christian, how are you living a missional lifestyle?
If you are not a Christian, what traits do you wish to see in a Christian’s lifestyle?
Please leave comments. I want to have more dialogue about this topic.