I’m always looking for simple tools to help teach missional living…words to live by as sent people in the world. I liked the following list from Larry Barker.
IDENTIFY – Who do you know that is far from God? In your community, who are those people and where do they hang out? What can you do to make an intentional move toward them? …It begins with you identifying those God has placed in your path that you can begin taking steps to reach them with the Gospel.
INVEST – With whom are you consistently developing relationships? With many it is not enough to just share words, you must also share your life. Who are you spending time with on a regular basis that is far from God? Where could you meet up with them on neutral ground and enjoy some quality time together? What hobbies or interests could you leverage to be salt and light? Do you have a list of at least 10 people who are not born again, as far as you know, that you pray for every day? Invest your time into their lives!
INVITE – Jesus was all about inviting people to get closer to Him. He said, “Come and see” and “Follow me.” He challenged His disciples to go out into their communities and compel people to come to Him. Today, Jesus does His inviting through us. What could that invitation look like? Maybe you could invite them into your home to enjoy a meal or to the Sunday morning service or to the lake for the day. Don’t be afraid to ask them!
I would say that we have issues with all three of these. We don’t identify folks who are lost–in whatever way they are lost. We don’t invest our time in, well, anyone but those closest to us. And, lastly, we fail to invite folks…either to follow Jesus or even just to church.