Three Revitalizing Ways Small Groups Ignite Passion for Missions…
By Aaron Wilson
If you’re a Christian, you’re required to be passionate about missions…right?
After all, it sure looks as if the church at large is on board with the idea: We create mission statements. We talk about living for the mission. We strive to be a mission-minded people. We take up mission offerings to go on mission trips where we team up with professional missionaries. We even invent new words such as missional–a term so novel, most spell checks and auto corrects aren’t sure what to do with it.
Yes, we Christians love our missions. At least, we love the sentiment behind it. Much like charity or hospitality though, we often embrace the idea while grimacing at the practice. Let’s be honest, how often do you wake up in the morning and think, “Oh boy, I get to live on mission today!”? Probably not. If we’re being honest, missions is something we believe in, but for the most part, don’t really enjoy.
But what if we did…
What if the missional life felt engaging? Exciting? Accessible?
Missional fervor doesn’t come from reading a best-selling book. Or attending a sold-out conference. Or taking in an old-fashioned revival service. No, it’s much less flashy.
Passion for missions–real, natural, Kingdom-building passion–is birthed in small gatherings of believers. In our church, these take place in living room circles.
We call these community groups–weekly gatherings where our church assembles in small pockets to care for one another and prepare for the mission field that is everyday life. If you’re not currently involved in a community group, here are three reasons why you should be.
1) Community Groups Remind
The first New Testament missionary was a man who had been possessed by a legion of demons (Mark 5:19). This tells us that a missional life isn’t for super-Christians. It’s for really bad people who have been radically saved (i.e. every Christian).
Gathering with other believers, discussing Scripture, confessing sin, and having Biblical accountability all remind us of our need for Christ’s sacrifice. The Gospel is the catalyst for missions. Hearing it preached and seeing it lived out is the most effective motivation you’ll find for living a missional life.
2) Community Groups Reorient
Missions occur when we love other people more than we do our own comfort. Living life intimately with other believers forces us out of the too-familiar pursuit of self. It teaches us to live like Philippians 2:4: “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
If we’re really fleshing out this verse, we can’t help but share the most important news–the Gospel–with those who haven’t heard it.
3) Community Groups Resource
We often avoid missions because we think we can’t accomplish anything on our own. Or, we just don’t know where to start. Community groups place us in settings where the fields are already being actively harvested. Just grab a basket and go!
Currently our groups reach out to the community in organized ways such as working with local prison ministries, taking strategic missions trips, caring for the spiritual and physical needs of the homeless, and serving the unborn and their parents through our local Crisis Pregnancy Centers.
You don’t have to invent a new scenario for being Christ to the world. You can simply join one already in progress!
The Heart of the Matter
Your heart does what it wants, but it wants what it does (Matthew 6:21). If you desire to have a passion for a mission-filled life, commit to a community group and watch what happens. You can start by checking out the options here, or by speaking to anyone at our church.