As you live in gospel community, people around you begin to notice. They see you and your family go out to serve the poor. They see you care for others in your community, they hear you talk about what God is doing, and they hear you share the gospel. God has actually placed you around those friends, neighbors, and co-workers to do just that. The power of a scattered church—opposed to an isolated commune—is we infiltrate all of society. Our webs of relationships take us into almost every corner of culture, and there we are God’s billboard. God scatters us across the city each day to be salt and light. It is truly amazing how many people God has intentionally put around you. Jesus promised this would happen in Acts 1:8, that the Holy Spirit would make us witnesses and that we are.
Whether you work in a high-rise office-building or in your home caring for your small children, you are sent there by God to be his agent of reconciliation. This is how God is making himself known through his people, by sending them out into the world. God actually places more people in your life than you probably realize.
This is an exercise to be done by individuals and then shared with a community. Through it, you will discover how and where God has already sent you to be missionaries. Download a printable version.
The People God Has Already Sent
Here’s a helpful exercise to illustrate how God is placing us in the city and giving us people to demonstrate the gospel to. You are going to make a list of names and then return to share them with the rest of the community.
Make a List of Names
Start with all the people in your gospel community.
Add your children, spouses (if not in the gospel community) and housemates.
Add the names of all your direct neighbors. Meaning the people across the street, behind you, and to your sides. If you live in a high-rise, the people on your floor.
Add the names of your coworkers, your bosses, the people you manage, and your peers within a work group. Even if you work remotely, write down anyone you have regular contact with while doing work. If you are a freelancer or contractor, write down your clients, suppliers, etc.
If you are in school, write the names of advisors, professors, classmates.
If you stay home with your children, write the names of the other parents, kids, or children workers you regularly see at libraries, parks, etc.
Add the names, if you know them, of the people who regularly serve you during a week. For example: barista, doorman, bartender, barber, grocery check-out person, etc.
Write down all the friends you see on a regular basis (who are not already written down), or people you spend time with through hobbies, recreation, etc. For example, your soccer team or book club.
Is anyone else you spend time with or connect with relationally, even if over the phone, regularly who isn’t on this list? These would be people you are connecting with at least weekly, not counting social media. This might also include extended family you have a deep bond with.
Reflect on the lives in this list
Now, take some time to look at this list. These are the names, faces, stories, and people God has placed in your life, the people God has sent you to.
Spend some over the next week reflecting on this:
Who are the 10-12 people (Christians and non-Christians) God is asking you to invest in, share the gospel with and disciple?
Sharing With Community
When you all get back together, share your reflections and thoughts.
Make a master list of the people God is asking each person to invest even deeper in. Commit to weekly pray for these people.
Are there people on your list (neighbors, coworkers, servers) whom you don’t even know their names? Is God challenging you to meet them?
How are the people on your list seeing the gospel on display through your life? How do they see you suffering, celebrating, succeeding, and failing in the gospel?
How have those people heard the gospel? How have they seen the church?
What is the Spirit inviting you to do in their lives?
How welcoming would your gospel community be with them here?
What are their inroads into spending time with your community?