[HACM member post courtesy of Rebekah Hinkle. Scroll to the bottom to learn more about Rebekah]
A few weeks ago returned from a trip to Los Angeles where I attended the Strange Fire conference. I thoroughly enjoyed my time there and it was a blessed privilege to listen to the Word delivered. The uniqueness of being able to sit at a table with complete strangers and have sweet fellowship was such an incredible experience (behold the communion of the Spirit!).
While I loved my time spent at the actual conference, I was not so impressed with LA. My friend Lara and I landed at the LAX airport around six in the evening and then navigated about 30 minutes to Van Nuy our hotel was located. By the time we had gotten our bags and picked up the rental car, it was dark. Our first look in the city took me back to my international travels; I felt like I was in a far off land with lights, cars, and surprisingly short buildings. Once near the hotel, we began to question whether our choice of lodging was wise. The neighborhood was dirty with plenty of bars on windows and doors. In the daylight we found that things weren’t as scary as they seemed. Yet, both in day and night, I determined, “I do not want to live here…ever”.
Just like every good little Christian girl who says such a thing, I quickly followed the thought with “Well, LORD, if you want me to be a missionary to this pagan place, I would obey.” And I meant it. The city is full of lost people. I would serve there if He showed me I was to go. I then began to consider how I would live my life as a missionary in LA. I would find a job, partner with believers there, and seek to make connections with those who need Jesus. I soon realized anything that I would do there as a missionary, I can do where I live. Not only that, I should be doing here. Right here in my town.
Of all the things that I learned at the conference, this concept of missional living, which was not one of the conference lecture topics, is what I took home. I must live missionally in my town because there are lost people here too. It begins at home in Jerusalem. I must strive to be useful and faithful here if I am to be useful elsewhere.
The call is the same for all of us. No matter what your location or station in life, if you are indeed a believer, you are to be living missionally. It is not an afterthought. We are ambassadors for Christ, empowered by the Spirit to preach the message of reconciliation! You may be a college student who seems confined by the four walls of your dorm room or the lab. Ask the LORD to show you how to reach out and touch the community where you live with the Gospel .
What this looks like is different for every person. I don’t play sports at all which means I will never be coaching girl’s club basketball. I do like to sew thus joining a sewing club or taking a class to improve my skill might be an option. Maybe you are flat broke. Something like reaching out to the neighborhood kids only takes time. When brainstorming for ways to reach out, I came up with the following short list of ideas and reminders.
- Do not confine your ministry to solely church related things
- be intentional in conversations at work and play
- build relationships in you neighborhood
- join a fitness class in order to rub shoulders with unbelievers
- get involved in community activities (5ks, fundraisers, tutoring)
- Volunteer at local food-bank, nursing home, crisis center
- Join a city league sports team
- Coach a boys/girls club team
- Join an local club like photography or sewing
How will you reach into your community and share the Gospel?
About the Author: Thanks to her mother’s insistence, Rebekah Hinkle went to college and earned a degree that married her love of people and science. Dental Hygiene has proved to be a fantastic platform for sharing the Gospel. As it turns out, she doesn’t hate school as much as she thought and is currently plugging away towards a bachelors in Biblical and Theological studies from Boyce College. Rebekah loves dishes, books, junkin’, and all things homemaker-y. You can read more results of random fits of inspiration on her blog Picken’s Place.
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