When we speak of living missionally, people have a variety of emotional responses that range from urgency to confusion to guilt. The idea of missional living carries the reality that we are surrounded with people that don’t know Jesus and need to know Jesus.
For all its history, the Church has wrestled to fulfill Jesus’ commands in Matthew 28:19 ―Go and make disciples… Churches have adopted various methods and plans to spread the gospel – everything from worldwide career missionaries to Thursday night knocking on neighborhood doors to tell people about Jesus. The challenge for every generation is to discover new methods or to rework old methods to reach more of those who are lost.
Our methods must always change, while our message stays the same: Jesus Christ crucified.
One of the things the millennial generations have lost, and are searching for, is true community. One of the nice things about being a Christian is that our Founder, Jesus Christ, is awesome at community! And, one of the primary means that Jesus used to cultivate community with the lost was by simply eating meals with them. Everyone has to eat; Jesus saw those intimate gatherings as prime opportunities to invite the lost and dirty into relationship with him. The gospel of Luke has some great examples of Jesus living on mission. In fact, this was one reason the religious people hated Jesus: This man receives sinners and eats with them (Luke 15:1-2).
When it comes to meals, southern culture is not very different from that of Jesus’ day. We eat with those close to us. Simply inviting the lost and unloved into our homes for a meal displays the message of the gospel and can throw open the door of the heart to receive the grace of Jesus!
We don’t need more programs or evangelistic services. To live missionally, we need simply to follow Jesus’ example: eat with sinners and speak grace to them as Jesus opens the doors of the heart.