In the book Live Sent: You Are a Letter, Jason Dukes lays out 10 questions to help Christians discern whether or not they are operating with a missional mindset. I have tweaked them and explained them below. Challenging words!
1. When you speak of church, what prepositions do you use?
Do you focus on church as a place or event more than a people who are sent? We are all called to live missionally, and we as a church are to be sent out as “salt and light” to a decaying and dark world. Our church in Athens has a sign as you leave the parking lot that exhibits this mindset, reading, “You are now entering your mission field.”
2. When you think of missions, do you think of a mission trip to a distant city and a service project in your own community or do you think about daily life among your family, neighbors, and coworkers?
The answer should be both. Living sent means you are a missionary in your everyday encounters. Charles Spurgeon once said that every “Christian” is a missionary, or else he is an impostor.
3. What is your common declaration about lost people around you? “Can you believe the way those people act?” OR “When can you come over for dinner?”
Hospitality is a key to living sent. How could the example of Jesus eating with tax collectors and sinners be modeled in your own life? We must also be careful to not take part in our lost friend’s sin or behavior…nor to immediately correct them. We must be a “friend of sinners” without taking part in their sin or becoming like them. Jesus is the perfect example of this.
4. Is my tendency to disengage from culture and retreat into safer, more Christian environments? Or is it to engage culture even amidst discomfort and danger.
We must be among lost people in order to be an effective witness. This will be uncomfortable, challenging, and potentially dangerous.
5. When you hear “make disciples,” do you think of a classroom or your relationships?
We should be equipped to disciple people in the daily routine of life, not just the classroom. How often did Jesus meet up with His disciples at the local bakery for their weekly meeting to “disciple” them?
6. Do you spend a lot of time wondering whether you should quit your job to surrender to ministry? Or do you simply live to minister to anyone and everyone where you are currently?
Vocational ministry is vitally important, but too many Christians are unaware that they too are involved in ministry to the people around them.
7. When you think of a friend who needs help, do you think, “I need to get him to see the pastor” OR “I wonder what I can do to help”?
Pastors are to equip God’s people to do the work of the ministry, not be the only ones who minister and witness to the lost.
8. When you think of heaven, do you think “kingdom come” or “kingdom is here”?
As people who believe the kingdom is both now and not yet, we ought to live as people who are the “presence of the future.”
9. Do you think godliness is measured with a mirror or within community?
Introspection (the mirror) is not the only way we become holy before the world. Jesus said people would see our fruit through our love for and life with other believers. “An intimate, shared life with God is most clearly demonstrated in intimate, shared life with one another.”
10. Do you have a lost friend who would actually introduce you as his or her friend?
If we are to live sent the way the sent One intended, then we must have genuine friendship with the lost, too!
Where do you stand?
Trying to live more “sent” with you,
The original article containing the above ten questions adapted by Trevin Wax can be found at the Gospel Coalition Webpage.