August 22, 2012

Common Interests

If the WHAT and the WHY are Common Mission - the catalyst, growth engine, and reason behind community - then there has to be an initial HOW. How do we propel this into action? How does the Lord lead us to others with a common heartbeat for the mission? This is not concrete. It doesn't always happen this way. But often, it's as simple as finding people around you with common interests. 

Look at your life - your everyday, weekly, gym-work-home, homeowners association, ball practice, weekend, church services, rhythms in your life. There are people in that rhythm with you. There are individuals - couples - families that if you just took notice are one step away from you "doing life together". (You may even already be doing it, and just haven't realized it.) As a Christian, the key then boils down to a simple question: Are the rhythms of your life centered in the mission of the Gospel? And remember, it's not about trying to figure out how to shove Christ into your busyness and your schedule. It's the realization that EVERYTHING in my life revolves around Him, His mission, and His calling on my life. For instance....

These ladies that I run with every Tuesday morning: Could we be reaching other ladies who need to know Christ simply by inviting them to begin running with us?

These guys at church that I go fishing with one Saturday a month: Are there other guys we know that need to know Christ who could be part of this with us?

That couple from your church that lives in your neighborhood: Could you be getting together and cooking out every other week, inviting other neighbors, praying for them, carrying their burdens with them, loving them, sharing the Gospel with them? 

Sometimes, finding the people the Lord has placed in our lives to carry out this "common mission" with can be as easy as realizing who He's already placed in your life with "common interests". Some common interests include: kids, sports, gaming, gardening, college football, where you're from, the neighborhood where you live, what you like to eat, surfing, music, scrapbooking, photography, running, stage of life.... You get the point.

So, HOW do we help people better make these connections, find others around them with common interests, and allow the relationships to be centered in and focused on the common mission of the Gospel?

One conclusion we've come to as a church family is that we have to begin providing more environments and opportunities for people to simply connect on a social level, like a picnic, bunco night, or service project. You can find a vast resource of ideas for connecting points and missional community from Verge Network. What are your thoughts on making these simple connections? Would love to hear your input.

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