On the way to make disciples of all nations, we must emphasize making them in our city. Jesus instructed the disciples to start in Jerusalem on their way to the world (Acts 1:8). Your city is your Jerusalem in your Acts 1:8 strategy. You must be intentional about sharing the gospel with those around you.
We cared so much for you that we were pleased to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become dear to us.
1 Thessalonians 2:8
When we care for people around us, we will get around to sharing the gospel and our lives with them. If we love them, we will do the most loving thing we can – sharing hope!
Some churches pit organic and organized efforts against each other. I believe both are important. You want the natural relational evangelism to take place, but churches would benefit by creating organized efforts too.
Instead of sending church members to unknown people in dissociated neighborhoods, we want to encourage every member to consider their homes, workplaces, and communities as missional outposts. Each member has great permission to obey the Great Commission right where they are. It starts with a love for the people around you. Pray for God-given open doors. Share the gospel and share your life.
While we hope and pray that we see conversions in our worship gatherings and intentional events, we desire to see a great harvest come from intentional relationships built. We long to see people baptizing those they lead to Christ. There is no need to place them in a group because they can simply follow their purposeful mentor. We will up our efforts in dislodging evangelism as the source of crippling fear for our members.
While we will emphasize missions via organic relationships, we also understand the need for organized opportunities. We will create a few annual opportunities for the church to be involved in missional events. We will encourage groups to go out together into the community. And we will resource our church family with tools to share the gospel with others.
Those who go on a mission trip get there because there are plans; therefore, the leadership must provide those opportunities in our city. If people don’t get overseas by accident, don’t expect them to cross the city by chance. Make a plan. Organize an effort. Lead the charge.
The more we can lead organized missional initiatives, the easier our members can share Christ in their organic relationships.