Learn to love. Since God is love, there’s nothing more important for you to learn how to do than to love – God and other people. But real love requires taking risks and making sacrifices. Remember that it was Jesus’ great love that inspired Him to make the ultimate sacrifice: dying on the cross to pay for the sins of the world. Since Jesus has done that for you, thank Him by learning what He is trying to teach you about how to love in your own life, which will involve making the risks and sacrifices that He calls you to make.

Don’t be afraid of failure. Realize that it’s worthwhile to try to do whatever God calls you to do, because God wants you to fully use the talents He has given you, and if you never try something, you can never succeed at it. Even if you fail, you’ll fail faithfully, having answered God’s call – and He will teach you valuable lessons in the process. What you learn from your mistakes may make it possible for you to succeed when you try again.

Stand up for justice. Whenever you encounter injustice and sense God urging you to do something about it, move out of your comfort zone and take action to help right the wrong. Stir up holy discontent among other Christians to motivate them to work for justice. Practice spiritual disciplines like prayer, Bible reading, simplicity, and silent reflection that will help you purge your lifestyle of sinful habits that can contribute to injustice, such as greed and gossip.

Serve wherever God leads you. Don’t limit your Christian service just to your church or Christian charities. Be willing to serve God in secular places, from the PTA at your children’s school to your neighborhood’s watch committee.

Be open to fresh insights from the Holy Spirit. Abandon your preconceived notions of how to do the mission work that God has called you to do in the world. Instead, get to know the people you sense God calling you to serve, and ask the Holy Spirit every day to give you fresh insights about how best to go about your work. Then be willing to take whatever risks you need to take to do your mission work according to how the Spirit leads you.

Adapted from The Faith of Leap: Embracing a Theology of Risk, Adventure, and Courage, copyright 2011 by Michael Frost and Alan Hirsch. 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.

Alan Hirsch is founding director of Forge Mission Training Network and cofounder of Shapevine.com, an international forum for engaging with world-transforming ideas. Currently he leads an innovative learning program called Future Travelers which helps megachurches become missional movements. He is the author of numerous books, including The Forgotten Ways, and coauthor of Untamed and Right Here, Right Now.

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 (http://angels.about.com/). Contact Whitney at: angels.guide@about.comto send in a true story of an angelic encounter or a miraculous experience like an answered prayer. 

Publication date: October 24, 2011