by Jeff Vanderstelt
Our church had an identity problem. We realized that many were still struggling with the default mode of seeing church primarily as an event. It seemed people knew how to engage in the activities of the church when we gathered and even how to do the mission when we organized for it. But they didn’t know how to live in the everyday stuff of life with gospel intentionality. They couldn’t see the things they were already doing as great opportunities to show what everyday life in submission to Jesus could look like.
Seeing church mainly as an event creates a significant problem for mission, because most people are very busy. And the more we fill our lives with church events and programs, the more we get pulled out of everyday life with people who don’t yet know Jesus. Besides, we will never be able to live out our identities of family, servants, and missionaries in one or two church events a week. It must involve everyday life. We need to see that life is the program, because people need to see what it means to follow Jesus in the everyday stuff of life.
We realized we needed to help our people see that life has a normal rhythm. All people everywhere are engaged in things that happen in rhythm—day in and day out. When we engage in these everyday rhythms with Jesus-centered, Spirit-led direction, mission can happen anytime and everywhere, and anybody can be a part of it.
So we asked ourselves: “What are the everyday rhythms of life that everybody engages in everywhere? How can we engage in what is already going on? And how does our submission to Jesus change how we do it?” We knew that if we identified the everyday rhythms of life and trained people to engage in them in light of the gospel with the purpose of making disciples, they would be better equipped to be disciples of Jesus anywhere and everywhere.
Everyday life is the program where we will be discipled in what it looks like to follow Jesus.
If you have the Spirit of Christ Jesus, you are part of his body, the church. Everything you do matters. You are never alone. He is always with you. And because of this, you are always showing people what being a disciple—one who knows and loves Jesus—is like. You are making disciples every moment.
The real question is, “Who are you making disciples of?” Are you showing others what submission to Jesus in the normal stuff of life is like? Can they watch you, hang out with you, eat with you, and vacation with you, and see what it would be like if they were to love and obey Jesus in everyday life?
If you’re part of a group, take some time to talk through how you can engage in these everyday rhythms on mission together to make disciples of Jesus in the everyday stuff of life.
Normal life is lived with gospel intentionality for the sake of seeing others come to know, love, and follow Jesus in normal life.
Content adapted from Saturate by Jeff Vanderstelt, ©2015. Used by permission of Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, Il 60187, www.crossway.org.
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