Our work is to equip Christ-like leaders. While there are many ways to do this, our foundational strategy has always been working through trusted relationships towards a common missional goal. We choose to co-labor with friends who share the same heart, passion, and calling as us. We do what any good friend would do- encourage, equip and empower.
I was reminded about the power of this concept by a friend, Nana Yaw, who leads Lausanne Movement’s Younger Leaders Generation as he discussed the concept of “missional friendships” in the intimate words of Christ to his disciples in John 15. Missional friendships may not be a new concept, but it has been forgotten. It is a Biblical model for ministry demonstrated by Jesus with his disciples and Paul with his colleagues. So, while the world may be more complicated and confusing, especially in ministry, Jesus’ strategy for reconciling the world is not. Here are two simple ways for you to participate more in God’s work (and you don’t have to be in fulltime ministry to do them)!
- Make your relationships missional
Give purpose to the relationships God has given you. Find brothers and sisters who you want to run with in ministry. Talk about how you can serve each other and God together. Don’t give up on international involvement (you can do this in your own city). Jesus’ mission requires reaching every ethnic group on earth, so develop relationships outside your culture. This will help you discover God’s heart for all people. It helps us find our place in the global church, serve our diverse brothers and sisters, and refine our gospel, which may be tainted by culture.
- Make your missions relational
Ministry gets complicated when we stray from Jesus’ model. Make every expression of ministry relationally driven and every relationship ministry focused. This is how we bear fruit that lasts (John 15-16). The fruit of the Spirit is born out of our relationship with God and expressed in relationships with others. Deep, meaningful and intentional relationships are hard to find. In a distracted and over-stimulated society, I hope the church will lead the way in love, which requires intimate, sacrificial and purposeful relationships.