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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?
- 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.
|Edition description:||New Edition|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.70(d)|
About the Author
BEN CONNELLY, his wife Jess, and their children Charlotte, Maggie, and Travis live in Fort Worth, TX. He started and now co-pastors The City Church, part of the Soma Family of Churches and Acts29 network. Ben has also written a few books, including co-authoring (with Bob Roberts, Jr.) Moody's A Field Guide for Everyday Missions. With degrees from Baylor University and Dallas Theological Seminary, Ben leads church planting for the Soma Family of Churches across North America. He taught public speaking at TCU for six years, writes for various publications, trains folks across the country, and blogs in spurts at www.benconnelly.net.
DR. BOB ROBERTS, JR. is founding pastor of NorthWood Church, Fort Worth, TX. NorthWood has started over 200 churches in the US and a center for training new pastors. He is a leading practitioner and writer on Glocal transformation of individuals, religious communities, NGOs, cities, and global engagement, having worked extensively with the UN and various State Departments globally. He is a nationally and internationally recognized speaker and author of books including Transformation, Glocalization, Real-Time Connections and Bold as Love. Bob is married to Nikki and they have two children and one grandson.
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 PublishersCopyright © 2014 Ben Connelly and Bob Roberts Jr.
All rights reserved.
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.
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.
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.
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
What People are Saying About This
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
"In A Field Guide for Everyday Mission, Ben and Bob bring to the table different perspectives, different generations, different stories, and different experiences. But they are unified in something far deeper: a gospel-saturated, Spirit-reliant, urgency and passion for God's mission, which can be—and must be—carried out in more normal settings than most of us realize. My hope is that God uses this book to open eyes, change our collective posture toward God's call, and inspire many lives on mission, for the sake of the gospel."
JEFF VANDERSTELT, Visionary Leader, Soma Family of Churches, and author, Saturate
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
“Believe it or not, a missing element in being missional is the ‘how’—or implementation—of the process. When push comes down to shove, we tend not to follow through for various reasons. Fortunately Ben Connelly and Bob Roberts, Jr. have addressed the ‘how’ of being missional, especially with their 101 Ways to Demonstrate the Gospel. While I like this book, this section was of particular value in that it put shoe leather on doing the gospel and being missional in the process. This is must-read material for the pastors and leaders who truly aspire to be incarnational in their missional communities.”
AUBREY MALPHURS, Founder of the Malphurs Group, and Senior Professor of Leadership and Church Ministries, Dallas Theological Seminary
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
"A warning to those who still see the missional church as a simple program. As Ben Connelly and Bob Roberts point out, the missional church involves transforming the existing culture, the lives of people and the life of a community for the sake of Jesus Christ. This is more than a ‘how to’ book. It's the pathway to deep and lasting transformation."
REV. BEN DISNEY, Senior Minister, Arborlawn United Methodist Church, and Lead Consultant, Healthy Church Initiative, United Methodist Church
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
[Note: This book was provided free of charge by Moody Publishers. All thoughts and opinions are my own.] In order to get a lot out of this book you have to understand where the authors are coming from. This is a book whose entire point depends on a couple of assumptions. One of them is the doctrine of the priesthood of all believers , which views all believers as not only future kings and priests but current priests of the order of Melchizedek by virtue of their conversion. On top of this, the authors view the great commission as applying to all believers. As a result, the authors take a viewpoint consistent with their presuppositions that all believers are therefore missionaries in some fashion and should therefore be instructed in how to go about this vocation in as effective a manner as possible. Given the premises of the authors, I think this is an excellent approach, and it manages to address many of the concerns that people have about Christians in terms of friendliness and politeness and genuine interest in others as people and not merely as projects. Overall this book is a job well done. In terms of its contents, this book is about two hundred pages long and is divided into six parts that are themselves divided into five daily segments. This is a thirty-day devotional that takes place over the weekdays of six weeks, and is full of biblical scriptures as well as personal stories and a wide variety of perspectives aside from the authors', many of which show themselves to be influenced by the social gospel that is popular in areas where institutional Christianity is weak and people feel it necessary to appeal to those whose belief systems are highly defective through working on social issues of larger societal interest. The six weeks are based around the fundamental questions of journalism, with a missional focus: Why should I even care? Who is my everyday mission field: What does an everyday missionary do? When does everyday mission happen? Where does everyday mission happen? How do I share the gospel without killing the relationship? The advice manages to be generally biblical as well as practical and encourages people to be good listeners and simply be honest about their beliefs as it comes up naturally in one's conversation while one is going about as a godly person in the midst of the world around. Overall, this is a book that will likely be most popular within a certain part of the Protestant world. Again, the presuppositions that the authors hold are not ones that everyone would agree with. Likewise, there are many believers who simply have no interest in or tolerance in the sort of social do-gooding that this book encourages. This book's intended audience is one that has a high degree of personal responsibility for the corner of the world that God has placed us in and a high degree of respect for others as being created in God's image whether or not they believe or behave as we do. Thankfully, this book is far less offensive than many books written by those of the contemporary social gospel movement, which made it a pleasure to read. The authors themselves desire more than simply to be read, though, but they want others to apply their thoughts and perspectives in their own everyday lives as they interact with a great many people and make friends among people of the world.  See, for example: https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2017/03/03/on-the-restrictions-of-priestly-marriage/ https://edgei
This book was interesting. It's a practical guide for small groups, individuals, and churches. Its a helpful guide, simple. Most people think that going to church every Sunday is all they have to do, but there's more to it than that. We have to try to lead people to Christ. I remember my godmother and I going to different people's house for a prayer meeting or a bible study. That was so exciting. After reading this book, you will have 101 ways to demonstrate the gospel. This is a great tool for someone ready to start the everyday mission. Each day has a bible scripture to read. This book will liven up your life. It answers so many questions, you will keep this close at hand.