Living with Gospel Intention
Every time my wife Maggie walks into the Chipotle by our house, you can visibly see the staff’s eyes light up. Although it’s never been a request, she typically leaves the restaurant having never reached for her wallet. It has almost become a running joke: “Let me guess, you didn’t pay anything for dinner again, right?” It’s never expected, and it’s not the goal; but it’s the result of treating people like they matter — like they really are made in the image of God.
Think about it: you spend the majority of the day hearing people demand, “More chicken, more sour cream, more cheese!” Then, as if you’re dreaming, you hear a sweet voice say, “Hi, how are you? How is your day going?” The thought crosses your mind, “I am a human being, I do matter, and this woman is actually looking me in the eye. What’s different here?”
Maggie has made it a habit to genuinely care for the people she meets throughout her day and you can, too.
Picking up dinner at Chipotle is one example of things you do that take time, resources, and energy throughout a typical week. But along with the usual events and routines that saturate your days, if you’re a Christian, you’ve been given the Great Commission — a joyous call to disciple others in response to the saving work of our risen Lord and King, Jesus Christ (Matt 28:18-20).
If you’re like a lot of Christians, you might think you have to free up your schedule to fulfill the Great Commission. But let me give you some fantastic news: whatever routines or events that God has placed you in, he’s placed you there, in part, to make disciples of Jesus for His glory. In other words, in all of the “stuff” that makes up your schedule, you have the opportunity to approach those tasks with new intentionality – a gospel intentionality.
This means that mission – a reference to the Great Commission – is not an event. Mission is a lifestyle.
I remember the first time I came across this language. I was reading a book by Steve Timmis and Tim Chester called Total Church. It was before my family and I moved back to Central Florida to plant Grace Oviedo.
This book defined the idea of mission as “living ordinary life with gospel intentionality.” When I read that description, I knew I would never forget it. The idea of going through ordinary life with purpose as a gospel ambassador resonated with me, and I hope you’ll feel the same way.
What does this mean for you?
This means that gospel intentionality affects everything you do — especially the ordinary stuff. Let me give you a few examples of what gospel intentionality affects in your life:
The way you talk to others
Whether you’re ordering a burrito or asking the barista at Starbucks for a “Triple, Venti, Half Sweet, Non-Fat, Caramel Macchiato,” be gracious and kind, just as Christ has been so gracious with you. Get to know them with the hope that you can communicate that they are made in the image of God, with intrinsic worth and value. Look to build relationships with them, asking the Lord to give you an opportunity to share the gospel.
The way you interact with your neighbors and co-workers
Know your neighbors and co-workers to the point that you can ask for their help, advice, and encouragement, and they can ask for yours. When they thank you, give a simple gospel response as to why you served, in hopes that this would create an opportunity for a gospel conversation later on.
The way you use your meal times
Use a couple of your 21 meals each week to invite your neighbors and non-Christian friends over for food. Use this time over a meal to get to know your them better, looking for opportunities to love, serve, and share the gospel. It is not a coincidence that Jesus shared so many meals with so many people throughout his ministry. Follow his lead.
The way you approach your children’s play-dates
When you go on a play-date with another parent, and your kids are running around and you have a few moments to converse with a fellow adult, pray for opportunities to speak about Jesus. Don’t let the moment slip by.
The way you watch the game
When there’s a game on T.V. that you were planning to watch, invite people who don’t know Jesus to watch with you. Let them eat all the snacks in your house as you work to develop genuine friendships that will hopefully lead to their new life in Christ.
When Maggie calls the cashier at the grocery store by name and asks about her family, it no longer shocks me, I know it’s more than her just being a nice person. Her desire is to show Christ to those God has placed in her life. Every routine is an opportunity to let the gospel guide you to the point where living your ordinary life fulfills the task Jesus gave to all his followers. God is at work, and he’s inviting you to play a part. Be intentional with the gospel; most likely, someone was with you.
This article was written by Grace Oviedo Pastor Bobby Raulerson and was published in the Live Life Unstoppable issue of Grace Magazine.