As the Father sent Jesus, so Jesus sends us (John 17:18), to be a bearer of the good news in word and deed.
In one sense, our current life defines to whom we are sent. The people we meet in our daily lives – our family, colleagues, friends, acquaintances and passing contacts – can all be and should be people we serve and reach out to.
However, there is also a question of calling. Is there a particular people group that God is calling us to serve particularly? Who should we reorganise our time, resources and energies around?
An understanding of our missional vision will bring focus and purpose to our daily rhythms and help us to move forward. Sometimes our calling will have a strong match with our current life. We may have a particular heart for our colleagues for example. But it may also be totally out of the perimeter our current life. For example, when the missionary Hudson Taylor first developed a heart for China we was living in the UK. Life – UK, Missional Vision – China. Over time those separate zones started to overlap (starting with prayer for China, then gradually getting more involved) until he was living in China, dressed as a Chinaman and speaking mandarin. Missional vision led to missional action.
In our missional community we have spent quite some time talking about our corporate missional vision (who, as a group, will we serve and reach?) Last night we focused more on our individual missional visions, to help everyone understand their calling better and also how our Missional Community fits into that picture.
The heart of the exercise was completing a simple sentence:
“I believe that God is sending me to…”
The responses were a typical mix of neighbourhood focus and network focus:
- “I believe that God is sending me to my colleagues and to fathers of young families in my local area”
- “I believe that God is sending me to young families who have just arrived in town”
- “I believe that God is sending me to my colleagues and to people involved with me in a particular local charity”
- “I believe that God is sending me to the area where I have just moved”
- “I believe that God is sending me to my colleagues and to parents/families in the local area”
Even just saying it out loud was an important step. If God is sending us, how do we remain faithful and proactive in responding to that call?
So how about you. What is your missional vision? Who is God sending you to?