We are a group of people who believe that people matter, communities can change, faith and life are meant to be shared, following Jesus changes everything, and the mission of God is worth living. Find out more at http://www.lifestationyork.com.
At LifeStation we’re asking God to help us establish rhythms of life that will allow us to have Kingdom impact in the lives of those who are not yet following Jesus. Therefore, the weekend of February 3rd was set aside as an intentional weekend where we were focused on creating a variety of “hangouts” to connect with neighbors.
To be honest, it was practically a no-brainer for us since that was the weekend of the Superbowl. So we asked God to show us what we should do and who we should invite. For my family, God made it possible to partner with Brian & Julie Hoffman. We live in the same neighborhood, and have a God-sized dream to see every family following Jesus. So, the Hoffmans hosted, we all invited neighbors to join us, and we allowed God to use football to bring us all together.
The gathering ended up being a incredible mix of people we already knew, those that we kind-of-knew, and those that would become new friends. I remember looking around the room and marveling at how God had brought us all together, and the opportunities that He gave us to be a part of each other’s lives.
One of my highlights from the evening was meeting the parents of one of our neighbors who, the day before, had arrived in York having completed 44 years of being missionaries in France. Their participation in what God was doing abroad inspired me and challenged me to continue pursuing the mission that God has for me and my family. I’m committed to trusting God to establish our family as missionaries in the Wellington Greens Community, right here in York.
Football, Friends, and France reinforced to me that people matter, communities can change, faith & life are meant to be shared, God’s mission is worth living, and that following Jesus changes everything!
This past weekend I was challenged to consider God as a jealous God (Exodus 34:14) and the ramifications that this truth has in my life. As I quickly understood the relational side of the jealousy of God, it didn’t hit me until now that God’s jealousy to be in relationship with us will ultimately stir our hearts to be on mission with God. For me, this comes to life in 1 Thessalonians 2:8, where we are given the example of not only sharing the gospel of God with others, but our very lives as well.
In his book Missional Renaissance, Reggie McNeal describes missional as:
…a way of living, not an affiliation or activity. Its emergence springs from a belief that God is changing his conversation with the world and with the church. Being missional involves an active engagement with this new conversation to the point that it guides every aspect of the life of the missional believer. To think and to live missionally means seeing all life as a way to be engaged with the mission of God in the world.
The last sentence in the quote above has given me fresh hope and insight as I remain committed to being a new kind of missionary wherever I am stationed–where I live, work, and play. My entire family is in the process of learning how we can see all of life as a way to be engaged with the mission of God. More specifically, God has birthed in our hearts a desire to not only connect deeply with our neighbors, but also to start intentional communities in our development that are focused on relationships where we will eat meals together and talk about faith and life.
To get us started, we’re going to spend time getting to know our neighbors by just hanging out with them. Whether its an invitation to dinner, taking a walk together as families, or talking about our hobbies or kids while we’re unloading the groceries, we are choosing to be intentional about establishing new friendships.
One of the most helpful resources I’ve found to get my family started to think missionally has been something called Simpke Ways To Be Missional. Click on the link below to check it out. There are numerous ideas for you to put into action in your neighborhood or workplace.
How have you and your family been engaged with the mission of God in the world?
For the past few weeks I’ve been enjoying Reggie McNeal’s book, Missional Renaissance. God has been using it to reshape my understanding of what it means for the church to be the church. With every turn of the page my heart has been refreshed with a desire to embrace the Kingdom of God in new and exciting ways.
One of the things that’s become more and more evident is that we are called to live in such a way that our lives are on mission with God no matter where we’re stationed. So, where do you live, work, and play? Those are the places where God has stationed you. Do you find yourself being aware of the God opportunities all around you? I’m not really good at this yet, but I’m committed to being intentional about it. I don’t want to waste where God has placed me. I want to be a good steward of where He’s stationed me and my family for the glory of God.
This morning, as I was reading in chapter 6, I was challenged to consider how my prayer life is affected by this missional renaissance. Consider these words from Reggie McNeal:
“It is unfortunate that so many people think only of prayer as a spiritual discipline. It is this but so much more. It is breathing to a Jesus follower, the lifeblood of staying connected throughout the day to the heart of the missional God. If we pursue prayer as a discipline to be mastered, we tend to see it as something we do when we shut out the world and retreat into our prayer chambers. Missional Jesus followers certainly do engage in concentrated prayer like this, but they also pray with their eyes wide open as they move through their day. They don’t want to miss what God is up to in the middle of life.”
I don’t know about you, but more often than not I’ve put prayer into a nice, neat box so that I could keep it under control. I hate that. I hate that I’ve been okay with that. God, break the boxes that I’ve constructed and help me to walk this earth with my eyes wide open so that I won’t miss what You’re up to every step of the way.
Can you relate? Has prayer been more of a discipline rather than breathing?
People are definitely more thankful this week than all the rest. I just watched a video that made me realize, again, that being thankful is to be a lifestyle rather than something we put on and put off when we please. Click the link below to watch.
What are you thankful for?
This past Saturday Ria and I had the privilege to head to NYC with four others from Pathway Community Church with the purpose of making Jesus famous. We joined with about 75 other volunteers to serve those who were devastated by hurricane Sandy. We partnered with Somebody Cares and Mercury One to be a part of the Day of Hope hosted by Hope NYC Church.
In the midst of the devastation all around us, hope was definitely in the air. We helped to distribute 2500 bags of food, blankets, stuffed animals, hot meals, water, and a gift card for a turkey. We were all blessed to be able to give in this way.
We also had the opportunity to take a few van loads of items to a community that is still without electricity and is in great need. Many people still cannot return to their homes to live. A man named Anthony shared with us how he is still waiting for an opportunity to have his son at his house because things are just that bad. I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to not be able to see my kids for two weeks or more because of this tragedy. We had a chance to pray for Anthony and ask God to make a way for him.
Before we had to head back to Hope NYC we had an opportunity to meet Sharon. Her story is amazing. Watch this clip to understand how she is focused on shining the light of Jesus to a community that is desperate for hope.
As we worked hard together we gave the world a glimpse of what the church is all about…sharing the gospel and our lives with others. On the Day of Hope, people could tell we were Christians by our love. We had a job to do that was more a reflection of the heart and mission of God than it was of any one of us. That’s what it means to make Jesus famous.
I’d love to hear your story of making Jesus famous. Would you mind making a comment below?