Ordinary Lives with Gospel Intentionality
Our Gospel Leader Residents at Redeemer have been studying what it means to live as ambassadors of the gospel. They have spent a good deal of time reflecting on the idea of OLGI—ordinary lives with gospel intentionality. Based on their study and missional experiences, some of our residents collaborated to write and create this post on OLGI with the hope of helping the church grow in gospel intentionality so that more of our neighbors and friends come to know Jesus!
We will have more info on how to apply for the 2012-2013 Gospel Leader Residency in the coming weeks if you are interested.
What Does it Mean to Live an Ordinary Life with Gospel Intentionality?
Sometimes, every day seems the same.
We wake up at the same time. We go through the same morning routine before heading off to work, or school, or whatever God has placed before us in His (sometimes non-obvious) providence.
Many approach these events as just that—events. They are things we do that take up time and resources, only to require doing again the next day. But along with these events and routines, we’ve, as Christians, been given the Great Commission—a joyous call to make disciples in response to the saving work of our risen Lord and King, Jesus Christ (Matt 28:18-20).
Sometimes we think we have to free up our schedules in order to fulfill the Great Commission and make disciples. But here’s the good part—whatever routines or events God has placed you in, He’s placed you there, in part, to make disciples of Jesus for His glory. This means we get to do things that are already in our schedule, with a new intentionality—a gospel intentionality.
This means that mission –a reference to the Great Commission- is not an event.
Mission is a lifestyle.
This idea can be expressed more tangibly as “living ordinary life with Gospel intentionality”. Steve Timmis and Tim Chester describe gospel intentionality as going through ordinary life with the intentionality or purpose of a gospel ambassador.
All of us have some sort of routine, something we ordinarily do.
You will still (by God’s grace) wake up at the same time. You will probably eat breakfast. You will go to work, school, or wherever God has placed before you in His providence.
But, as an ambassador of Christ and minister of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5), redeemed by the blood of Christ, you get to go through your routine with the prayerful intent and desire of pointing people to Christ in hopes that they will come to a saving relationship with him. Our new gospel identity makes this mission our lifestyle.
And that means gospel-driven intentionality affects everything we do—especially the ordinary stuff.
Gospel intentionality affects the way you talk to the barista when you order coffee. Be gracious and kind with them, just as Christ has been so gracious with us, and get to know them with the hope that you can build relationships with them and get an opportunity to share the gospel with them.
Gospel intentionality affects your interactions with others around the water cooler at work. Use the times people are gossiping to speak positive truth about the victims, because even though Christ has all the “dirt” on us, He still approaches His Father in our favor.
Gospel Intentionality affects your interactions with your neighbors. Know your neighbors to the point that you can ask for their help, and they can ask for yours. When they thank you for your help give a simple, authentic, gospel reason as to why you served, in hopes that this would create an opportunity for a gospel conversation later on.
Gospel Intentionality affects how you use your meal times. Use a couple of your 21 meals each week to invite your neighbors and non-Christian friends over for food. Use this time over a meal to get to know your neighbors and non-Christian friends better, looking for opportunities to share the gospel.
Gospel Intentionality affects how you interact with your kiddos. As you raise them, you get the opportunity to help grow them in the gospel and lead them to Jesus—that’s working to fulfill the Great Commission right inside of your home!
Gospel Intentionality affects how you study for school. Instead of studying alone, you can work with other students to develop friendships and create opportunities to share the gospel.
When you go on your weekly play-date with another parent and your kids are running around playing and you get a few moments to converse with a fellow adult, pray for opportunities to speak about Jesus. By God’s grace and the help of the Spirit, you can even use the ordinary event of a play-date with gospel intentionality by asking your friend what they think about Jesus, religion, or the gospel.
When there’s a game or show on T.V. that you were planning to watch, invite people who don’t know Jesus to watch with you. (Here’s a tip: start with your neighbors!) Let them grub on your nachos and as you work to develop genuine friendships that will hopefully lead to their new life in Christ.
Every step of your routine is a chance to reflect on the gospel, and how while you were a sinner, Christ died for you. Praise God that our salvation is not based on how well we have represented Jesus, or how well we represent Jesus in the future. Let this grace God has shown drive us to point others to him in gospel conversations through our ordinary routines, in hopes that Jesus would save them as well.