· Encourage your church’s members to change their local neighborhoods for the better. Urge the people in your church to reach out to the people they live among and help meet their neighbor’s needs, both through prayer and practical help. Help those in your congregation consider whether God may be calling them to move so they can relocate among people who are poor or marginalized – that way they can disciple people in need, over time. Work as a church to renew local neighborhoods in ways such as building a sense of community, living simple lifestyles to free up resources to address other people’s needs, creating sustainable businesses such as worker co-ops, buying goods and services at local businesses and using fair-trade products, and holding events such as health fairs to help local people with wellness. Get to know the people who live around your church, listen to their stories, and invite them to participate with you in the greater story of the work God is doing to redeem the world. Become agents of grace in the lives of those in your community, showing them glimpses of hope in the midst of their problems, and leading them to trust in Jesus to help them. Then some of them will likely join you in the great work of missions, reaching even more people to connect to God through Jesus and help redeem the world.

 

 

Adapted from The Road to Missional: Journey to the Center of the Church, copyright 2011 by Michael Frost. Published by Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group, Grand Rapids, Mich., www.bakerbooks.com.

 

Michael Frost is vice principal of Morling College; founding director of the Tinsley Institute at Morling college in Sydney, Australia; and a Baptist minister. He is the author of Jesus the Fool, Seeing God in the Ordinary, and Exiles, and the coauthor of The Shaping of Things to Come. He lives in Australia.

 

Whitney Hopler is a freelance writer and editor who serves as both a Crosswalk.com contributing writer and the editor of About.com’s site on angels and miracles, at: http://angels.about.com/. Contact Whitney at: angels.guide@about.com to send in a true story of an angelic encounter or a miraculous experience like an answered prayer.