A Community on Mission

Lately, I've been reflecting a lot on how Christian community is for the sake of mission to the world.  Our "Life Together" is so that others may live.  Our oneness is for witness.  Our togetherness in the body of Christ is to spread outward with the good news and good deeds of the gospel. Tim Keller says something similar:

The church is never a self-absorbed community; it is always engaged in God's mission, extending news of the gospel, and extending hope as we live real lives in a real world. 

That means that in every facet of our lives we should live as followers of Christ reflecting the character of Christ to the world.  We are called to shine for King Jesus in this dark world so that others would see the beauty of the Son we serve and worship.  This is our mission.  But we must not think of it as an individual project; it's a community project.  We are called to corporately display the love of Christ to the world.  This frees us to use the gifts God has given us to promote the gospel together.  Let me give you an example.

When you have your next time of fellowship with other believers, intentionally invite some non-believing neighbors or friends.  Free up those who have the gift of hospitality to plan the event and host it.  Invite those you know who have the gift of gab (I mean evangelism!) to rub shoulders with your neighbors.  Get others to pray for this time who you know will labor in prayer.  Bring other believers who are encouragers and love to have a good time.  And when you're all together, just have fun hanging out.  Eat together, talk about life together, enjoy one another's company.  This kind of love for one another is attractive to the world.  And through these relationships, pray that God would open up a time where you can share the reason for the hope that is in you. 

Too many times we get frustrated when we think of how to "do" evangelism because we see it as an individual burden.  Perhaps if we remember that we are part of a community on mission together, we will be freed up to move out together into the lives of people in our sphere of influence.  Wasn't this a big part of why the early church was "adding to their number day by day those who were being saved?"