The gospel must be lived out in everyday life. Community building can’t be merely regulated to a mid-week small group meeting and a Sunday morning service. It must extend far beyond these events to fulfill all the great “one another passages” of the New Testament. Moreover, the work of evangelism (mission) can’t be accomplished through mere door knocking, tract passing, or making sermons more “relevant to the unchurched.” Our missionary methods must extend into the ordinary activities of our routines if we are to follow the New Testament model. We must intentionally evaluate and reform our everyday lives around the the gospel. I created a simple exercise to help the folks at my former church to move away from a primarily program-based way of “doing” the Christian life towards a more natural way. Maybe you’ll find it helpful as well.
First, simply list out all the activities that make up your daily, weekly, and monthly routines. You should write down everything in these routines even if they seem mundane. Your daily list might include things like eating meals, go to the gym, driving to work, walk the dog, and play time with the kids. Your weekly list might include things like watch football, go to the park, grocery shopping, trip to the library, and play basketball. Your monthly list might include things like see a movie, take trash to the dump, get a haircut, camping, and budgeting. I would recommend opening up a Word doc and revising it as your routines shift over time.
Second, begin to assess all these ordinary activities through a tri-fold lens of community, mission, and gospel. You want to consider whether or not you can take these activities and add each of these three components. For example, let us consider the universal routine of grocery shopping. It is quite easy to add a communal and missional component to your weekly trip to the grocery. The first step would be to invite a Christian from your local church and a non-Christian friend to join you in this common routine. The second step is to bring the gospel into the activity. The gospel component can be added in a natural but intentional way as you converse throughout the activity. Shopping will bring up very important topics such as stewardship, family, and health. These topics can easily be used as a path to explicitly talking about the gospel. The third step and perhaps the hardest is to try your best to make this more than an one time event. You want this to become part of your weekly shopping routine. Just think how the kingdom would expand if you took as many of your routine activities as possible and disciplined yourself to include these three components! Moreover, you aren’t adding yet another event to you already crowded routine but rather sanctifying your everyday life!
In conclusion, I understand that this is exercise doesn’t answer everything. Some of your activities are meant to be solitary. This certainly is acceptable. However, it is probably a different issue altogether if the lists you have constructed don’t include about dozen activities that can be reformed to include all three components. I find people prefer programic evangelism and community life (if you can even call it that) because it doesn’t invade their personal space. That is irreconcilable with the life of Jesus and implications of the gospel. You must change.