A Field Guide for Everyday Mission: 30 Days and 101 Ways to Demonstrate the Gospel

Overview

Surprise-If you call yourself a follower of Jesus, He calls you a missionary!

You may never go halfway around the world, but because of God's work in you, you are on mission. As everyday missionaries, God has sent us to live out his Great Commission in the ordinary, all-too-busy, and even mundane moments of our lives.

But what ...

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A Field Guide for Everyday Mission: 30 Days and 101 Ways to Demonstrate the Gospel

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Overview

Surprise-If you call yourself a follower of Jesus, He calls you a missionary!

You may never go halfway around the world, but because of God's work in you, you are on mission. As everyday missionaries, God has sent us to live out his Great Commission in the ordinary, all-too-busy, and even mundane moments of our lives.

But what exactly does an everyday missionary do?
Where and when does everyday mission happen?
And how can you possibly share the gospel without killing your relationships? 

A Field Guide for Everyday Mission answers these questions and more for individuals, churches, groups, and organizations. Each day's reading includes an immediately practical biblical principle and a few ways to help you live it out. By the end of Day 30, you'll have 101 different ways to demonstrate the gospel.

With stories from leaders like Steve Timmis, Jeff Vanderstelt, Mark DeYmaz, Mary DeMuth, Rick McKinley, and Lance Ford, the authors have created a tool for anyone ready to jump into the grace-filled mess of everyday mission.

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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher

In A Field Guide for Everyday Mission Ben Connelly and Bob Roberts Jr. articulate the Christian mission and provide 101 helpful and practical steps to set about accomplishing this mission.  This book will benefit small groups, individuals, and churches who are committed to reaching their communities for Christ.

ED STETZER, President, LifeWay Research, and author, Subversive Kingdom

Bob Roberts and Ben Connelly have given the local church an incredibly helpful and practical guide to doing mission that will equip everyone from the seasoned practitioner to the brand-new believer. It is simple and straightforward, yet it has the power to change both your neighborhood and the world for Christ.

MATT CARTER, Pastor of Preaching and Vision, The Austin Stone Community

Church, and coauthor, The Real Win

Are you concerned about the state of the Church in the West today? Are you affected by the need of the World around us? Do you struggle to know what you should do about it personally? This book will challenge you to become a missionary, right where you live, and not leave evangelism to the so-called professionals.

You will find many captivating phrases like "people are not projects," and "we introduce people to the things that are most important to us." Mingled with the inspiration and motivation are practical pointers, which will help you share Jesus with your friends, neighbors and colleagues. Reading this book could have eternal consequences.

ADRIAN WARNOCK, blogger and author, Raised With Christ

A call to "mission" can sometimes play upon guilty feelings about overwhelming needs and intimidating challenges.  Instead, Ben and Bob invite us into a conversation on calling that helps us see that we participate in the mission of God everyday as we bear the image of His Son among our family, neighbors, coworkers, and communities near and far.  They offer an idea book full of creative ways to pursue God's calling in our lives to communicate the Gospel of Jesus Christ, in word and deed, in the power of the Spirit!  I urge you to give an ear to their conversation because in it you will hear voices echoing their Savior.

STEVEN T. VANDERHILL, President, Redeemer Theological Seminary

If you find that "missional talk" can be a bit vague, then this is the book for you. It's an accessible guide to missional thinking. But even better, it will help put it into practice. It will show you what everyday mission can actually look like. Not every one of their 101 ideas will apply in your situation, but many of them will.

TIM CHESTER, director, The Porterbrook Network, and author, A Meal With Jesus

Ben and Bob do a phenomenal job creating a practical guide for missional living with a mix of story, theology, and simple, effective ideas to engage culture and do good. The world will be a better place as we begin to practice these ideas in our daily life rhythms.

CHRIS MARLOW, founder and CEO, Help One Now

I was always glad to support church missions but it took me many years to realize that I, too, had a mission.  This very practical book helped me connect the dots in my understanding of that mission and offered me a way to step forward in faith. A Field Guide for Everyday Mission is written for all of us who wonder how to talk about and live out our faith in a natural, winsome, and God-honoring way. 

DALE HANSON BOURKE, author, The Skeptic's Guide series and Embracing Your Second Calling

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802412003
  • Publisher: Moody Publishers
  • Publication date: 6/1/2014
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 875,970
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author


BEN CONNELLY, his wife Jess, and their daughters Charlotte and Maggie live in Fort Worth, TX. He started and now co-pastors The City Church, part of the Acts29 network and Soma family of churches. With degrees from Baylor University and Dallas Theological Seminary, Ben teaches public speaking at TCU, writes for various publications, trains folks across the country, and blogs in spurts at www.benconnelly.net. @connellyben

DR. BOB ROBERTS, JR. is the founding pastor of NorthWood Church in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, has been involved in the planting of over 175 congregations in the US, and is the author of several books, most recently Bold as Love (Thomas Nelson, 2012). A leading practitioner of glocal transformation, Bob also works with church planting, development, and global engagement in Australia, Asia, Afghanistan, Mexico, and Nepal, and blogs at www.glocal.net. Bob is a graduate of Baylor University, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Fuller Seminary. He and his wife Niki have two children, Ben and Jill. @bobrobertsjr

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Read an Excerpt

A Field Guide for Everyday Mission

30 Days and 101 Ways to Demonstrate the Gospel


By Ben Connelly, Bob Roberts Jr., Elizabeth Cody Newenhuyse

Moody Publishers

Copyright © 2014 Ben Connelly and Bob Roberts Jr.
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-8024-1200-3



CHAPTER 1

WHY SHOULD I EVEN CARE?

My daughters recently discovered The Sound of Music. Maggie is nearly two years old, and "dances," which consists of rocking side to side and spinning. But Charlotte—almost four—has memorized most of the songs. Her current favorite? "Let's start at the very beginning, a very good place to start ..." If you've never seen the musical—which Charlotte and many Americans agree is a travesty—Julie Andrews and the von Trapp children sing, "When you read you begin with A—B—C [but] when you sing you begin with do—re—mi"1. Without a strong foundation, the rest of this Field Guide crumbles. So this week is our starting block; our foundation; our "do—re—mi."

Generally the "Five W" questions begin with "Who?" But throughout the New Testament, the apostle Paul always starts with the heart before he speaks to actions. He always addresses the "Why" before he gets practical. And we feel like he's a decent example to follow. So we begin by giving you five reasons to care about everyday mission. Each starts with God and the story He wrote from Genesis to Revelation, and continues to write, in and through each of our lives.


DAY 1

SURPRISE! YOU'RE A MISSIONARY


LET'S PRETEND WE'VE NEVER HEARD OF JESUS.

As you pretend with us, here's a question: What defines you? Here's my answer even if I didn't know Jesus: I am husband to Jess, father to Charlotte, Maggie, and God willing, more kiddos in the future. I'm son to Dennis and Becky, a brother, brother-in-law, and uncle. And even if I (Bob) didn't know Jesus, I am husband to Niki and father to Ben (not my coauthor; a different one who looks like me) and Jill. I'm son to Bob Sr. and Gaye. I'm a brother, uncle, father-in-law, and nephew. And as of October 2013, I'm a granddad! We're both Americans, and we're both Texans. Yeehaw.

While these are marks of our identities, we both also play unique roles. Various titles describe us: we're both writers and speakers. Bob's 1 diplomat and resident of Keller. I'm a professor and resident of Fort Worth. We're both pastors that's weird since we're pretending we don't mow Jesus, right?). But while these titles describe is, and help direct where our time goes, they're lot our identity. They're roles we play. They're meaningful, and we both hope to continue playing our roles for as long as God allows. But roles change. Neither of us lives where we grew up; we have both worked for multiple churches. So our residential and pastoral roles have changed.

Unlike roles, identities are permanent. Deeper than roles, our identity is who we are. There was a time when Bob and I were both single. There was a time when neither of us had children (those were the blessed days we could sleep past sunrise). But at specific moments, our identities objectively changed. We became husbands and dads, and now we live as married men with wives and children. These aren't hats we wear when we want and take off when we don't feel like living them out. They're more like tattoos that cannot be removed. Even if we could cover them up or they fade over time, once there, they're always there. If either of us is on a trip without our wives, neither gets to act as if we are single. Even as our kids grow and start families of their own, we're still parents. And when we're in Europe, we don't try to put on accents to fit in. We'd make fools of ourselves. I often tell my wife, Jess, that if I could change one thing about myself, I'd have a British accent—it just sounds so jolly cool. But because of who I am, I speak Texan, y'all.

What about you? If you didn't know Jesus, how would you define your identity? And what are some of the roles you play in your day-to-day life?


WHO WE ARE DEFINES WHAT WE DO

Okay, let's get back to loving Jesus. As we said, in nearly every one of Paul's New Testament letters, he explains "who you are" before he tells readers "what to do." He starts with our identity before he explains our roles and actions. "Christian" isn't just a role we play; it isn't just something we do. It's deeper than that. Our very identity is in Christ. Because of God's work in us, we are each sons and daughters of God. We are followers of Jesus. To take it a step further, that's a more important identity than "spouse," "parent," nationality or culture, or any way we define identity.

Before Jesus intervened in our lives, we were each, among other things, "a sinner ... idolater ... of our flesh ... in darkness ... slaves ... children of wrath ... [and] dead." But in Christ, God has given us a new identity. We've been "transformed by the renewing of your minds"; God has removed the heart of stone from our flesh; we're now "children of light, a new creation ... alive in Him." Nearly every reference to salvation in the Bible speaks of a transfer of identities: we were that; by God's grace, we're now this.

That's the first reason we care about everyday mission. We have a new identity, and that new identity shapes our lives. God's gospel work doesn't stop at the moment of change. In fact, that new identity is just the beginning of God's work in and through us. Second Corinthians 5 explains our new identity, and reminds us that it's only through Jesus that this is possible. But Paul doesn't stop there. What else does God do? He "gave us the ministry of reconciliation." He entrusts us with his "message of reconciliation." He calls us His "ambassadors." Many Bible passages that speak of salvation echo the idea that our new identity calls us to demonstrate the gospel: in Romans, the gospel—"the power of God for salvation" —also enables us to live by faith; in Ephesians, the same God who saves us by grace, through faith also calls us "his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." Throughout most of the Bible, we see that our decisions, actions, and even roles stem from that new identity.

Our identity leads us to demonstrate the gospel. This isn't just true for the tiny percentage of Christians who actively choose to call themselves "missionaries," who get on a plane for the more traditional picture of "mission." It's true for everyone redeemed by God.


LIVING OUT OUR IDENTITY IN OUR ROLES

Gabe and Alison are actors in The City Church. They have helped me see the dangers of defining ourselves by the roles we play, instead of the identity we have. A professor once told Alison that any play worth watching is about an extraordinary day, be it triumph or tragedy. While that may be the formula for good entertainment, Alison explains the downside: "it fosters a false expectation of reality [for actors], leaving ordinary day to day seeming like no life at all." Christian actors must cling to something deeper, something realer, as they rest in Christ and demonstrate the gospel in the dark world of professional theater. They can't be defined by critics' reviews, audiences' responses, or roles they play—because those change every few weeks. They live out their identity in Christ, in their roles as actors. This is true for every Christian, in every role we play. I'm paid to teach college freshmen about public speaking—or how to "talk good," I often joke. But I cannot ignore the fact that I am first a Christian, and God's missionary. I live out my identity in that specific role. I'm open about my faith from the first day of class. I get to know students. I try to model integrity, and to talk about Jesus when I can do so naturally. I seek to display grace and truth—which can be especially difficult when it comes to final exam grades!

Whatever we do in life, we are first and foremost disciples of God. We are members of His family. And we are missionaries to His world. It looks different depending on our place in life. But in whatever role we play—and even in lesser elements of our identity—we don't get to disregard to our deepest identity. We do business differently. How we treat others changes. The way we respond to frustration is redeemed. Our roles are renewed: they're each opportunities to live out our faith.


THE GOOD NEWS OF JESUS IS BIGGER THAN YOU

If you were asked, "What is the gospel?" you'd probably speak of who God is, who He originally designed mankind to be, what sin did to distort our original purpose, and how Jesus is our only hope for eternity. And praise God—you'd be right! But the gospel doesn't just call us to God, to spend the rest of our lives as we please. God doesn't change our identity so that we can hide away from the world and wait for eternity. No! In our conversion, God changes our identity; our identity impacts our roles and changes our actions. The gospel is not just for the purpose of individual reconciliation; the gospel does not just call each of us out of our old identity. The gospel also calls us to participate in God's reconciliation of all things. The gospel also calls us to live out our new identity, every day as His ambassador. Why do we care about everyday mission? Surprise: by the fact that you call yourself a Christian, God calls you a missionary.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from A Field Guide for Everyday Mission by Ben Connelly, Bob Roberts Jr., Elizabeth Cody Newenhuyse. Copyright © 2014 Ben Connelly and Bob Roberts Jr.. Excerpted by permission of Moody Publishers.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Table of Contents:

Start Here: Five Basic Questions
Question 1: WHY Should I Even Care?
Question 2: WHO is my Everyday Mission Field?
Question 3: WHAT Does an Everyday Missionary Do?
Question 4: WHEN Does Everyday Mission Happen?
Question 5: WHERE Does Everyday Mission Happen?
Question 6: HOW Do I "Jump to the Gospel" (Without Killing the Relationship)?
End Here: YOUR Everyday Mission Story

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