“Avoid all perverse talk; stay away from corrupt speech. Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you. Mark out a straight path for your feet; stay on the safe path. Don’t get sidetracked; keep your feet from following evil.” (Proverbs 4:24–27, NLT)
As God seeks to transform me into the image of His Son, Yeshua, I am amazed at the specificity He brings to my life’s actions. Remember, the lives of the people in our communities are our responsibility.
Recently, at a conference on small groups, the speaker talked about the importance of reaching out to our neighborhoods with God’s love. He didn’t give us the traditional “win them to Jesus” speech. He simply took a marker and a transparency, drew his cul-de-sac, and began to tell us the people who lived in each home, where they worked, what they liked, their children’s names, their schools, and their sports or academic interests. House after house, family after family this presenter simply told us of the people he loved in his neighborhood and their spiritual condition. Did he make an impact that day – yes! Did he have a missional heart? Yes! How did he do this? This passage shows us four critical keys to help us reach them in our generation:
- Who I am listening to and how I plan out my day are vital to my missional health. Scheduling my days around my mission will change how I look at life. Preparations and plans flow from the mission of Jesus, the work of the Spirit and the lives of my neighbors as I interact with them in each encounter.
- Preplanning (intentionality) is imperative to my effectiveness. Knowing my neighbors and praying for them constantly allows me to step into their world, feel their struggles and trials, and address those when they come up in conversation.
- Distractions are to be avoided at all costs! My focus on the mission of sharing Jesus’ love and leadership is primary to everything I do and say.
- I must forbid any hint of sin! A hypocrite has forfeited their platform for sharing God’s love and leadership.
As I follow God’s Word, He provides life and health, direction and mission! As Solomon promises, “for they bring life to those who find them, and healing to their whole body.” (Proverbs 4:22, NLT) In other words, we have a choice every day!
If you enjoyed today’s leadership post, you can read the rest of it in Dr. Smith’s book, Gathering Missional Leaders: Creating a Biblical Environment for Exponential Leadership Development. You can purchase the book by following this link.