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  • Writer's pictureWilson Lim

Missional Steps To Reach Out Effectively



God is on His mission.  A mission to redeem.  A mission to reconcile sinful men back to Himself because He loves us and would not leave us to our own sin and eventual destruction.  God is a missional God.  God who became man, as Jesus.  To seek out the lost and offer salvation.  So too is the Church to be missional to this lost world.  Every believer is called to be a missional disciple.  One who would glorify God by living God’s mission every day. 

God is a missional God.  God who became man, as Jesus.  To seek out the lost and offer salvation.

Every believer is called to be a missional disciple.  One who would glorify God by living God’s mission every day. 

Now often many Christians ask the question, but how do we live missional lives?  Lives that will make a difference where I am?  We will discover some of these answers from Acts 13:13-43.  The context of this passage is the first missionary journey of Paul and Barnabas as they went forth from Antioch, located in Syria of today all the way to Pisidian Antioch where they visited a synagogue.  From this passage of Scripture, we will learn key steps from Apostle Paul.  3 key steps that will help us impact the people around us.

 

CONNECT: GAINING IDENTIFICATION

 

Acts 13:16-22 (NIV) “16 Standing up, Paul motioned with his hand and said: “Men of Israel and you Gentiles who worship God, listen to me!  17 The God of the people of Israel chose our fathers; he made the people prosper during their stay in Egypt, with mighty power he led them out of that country,  18 he endured their conduct for about forty years in the desert,  19 he overthrew seven nations in Canaan and gave their land to his people as their inheritance.  20 All this took about 450 years. “After this, God gave them judges until the time of Samuel the prophet.  21 Then the people asked for a king, and he gave them Saul son of Kish, of the tribe of Benjamin, who ruled forty years.  22 After removing Saul, he made David their king. He testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’”

 

When Paul was given an opportunity to address the synagogue, he began to share some key accounts about God’s dealing in Israel’s history.  Why did he do that?  After all, was it not common knowledge to his hearers?  Why bother to repeat it?  Because Paul was seeking to connect with his hearers.  He connected by affirming the common history they had and their common understanding of God’s dealings with Israel.  He is saying, we believe in the same things.  We believe in the same God.  So Paul identified with his hearers.


God is the ultimate connector. Ultimately through becoming like one of us, as Jesus.

 

When we look through the Scriptures, we find that God is the ultimate connector.  God has been connecting with man through a huge variety of ways.  Through communicating with certain individuals and through them.  Through spoken and written words.  Through dreams and visions.  Through powerful miracles.  And ultimately through becoming like one of us, as Jesus. Phil 2:6 - 7 (GWT) 6 Although he was in the form of God and equal with God, he did not take advantage of this equality. 7 Instead, he emptied himself by taking on the form of a servant, by becoming like other humans, by having a human appearance.

 

Just consider this.  God who is eternal, all-powerful, limitless moved from eternity into time, move from heaven unto earth, to be a fragile, limited human being.  Can you imagine us becoming an ant so that we can connect with ants?  Imagine reducing our brain to the size of an ant’s brain and thus all the limitations of such a puny brain? About 300,000 smaller.  It’s like trying to reduce the content of a 1 TB hard disk to a size of a digital photo. What God did was far greater than that.

 

So God became Jesus, born in a manger in Bethlehem as we often hear in Christmas stories.  Jesus who lived a sinless life on earth.  Jesus who chose not to live like God but like man while on earth.  So that He could fully connect with us and us with Him.  What an incredible extent that God went through to do so!  God is still seeking to connect with us today.  Many of you have experienced things that if you were to consider it carefully, it may be God trying to get your attention. 


As missional people we should connect with people around us.  We can connect with people through our common humanity. 

 

In the same way, as missional people we should connect with people around us.  We can connect with people through our common humanity.  After all, there are many desires we share in common with people around us.    How many of us like good food? Or enjoy a good movie? How many of us want to have good friends or happy marriages? How many of us are eagerly waiting to own the latest iPhone?  Or for us Android people, the latest Samsung or Pixel?

 

We can connect through common needs.  For example, when we are young, it may be a need to have a nice hairstyle.  As we get older it may be the need to have the right hair colour, instead of grey! 

 

We can connect through common challenges.  For example, for university students. “Are you studying that course?  So did I.  I still remember the professor Andrews who was so boring, he bored my socks off!  Yeah, he is so boring I keep falling asleep in his lectures.”  Or for example working adults. “Did you work in that company?  Do you know supervisor Jones? He is such a drill sergeant.  He even insisted that my work boots be polished!”

 

We can connect through our unique interests and experiences. For example, “Do you like soccer?  You are a Manchester United fan? What do you think about David Moyes? Will he ever be as good as Alex Ferguson?”  Or  “Have you got back problems?  Yeah, so have I.  Thrown my back a number of times.  Ended up in bed and was walking like a 100 year old man.”


When we connect well, our friends realise that we are trustworthy witnesses of the work of God in our lives. 

 

It is important that we be ourselves, authentic, the real deal. Warts and all.  Not some photo-shopped image which is not representative of reality.  As witnesses for Christ, we are not called to be salespeople but living epistles.  When we connect well, our friends realise that we are trustworthy witnesses of the work of God in our lives.  Because they connect with us, they understand better where we came from and why we chose to follow Christ.

 


COMMUNICATE: SHARING THE GOOD NEWS

 

       Acts 13:23-41 (NIV) 23 “From this man’s descendants God has brought to Israel the Savior Jesus, as he promised.  24 Before the coming of Jesus, John preached repentance and baptism to all the people of Israel.  25 As John was completing his work, he said: ‘Who do you think I am? I am not that one. No, but he is coming after me, whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.’ 26 “Brothers, children of Abraham, and you God–fearing Gentiles, it is to us that this message of salvation has been sent.  27 The people of Jerusalem and their rulers did not recognize Jesus, yet in condemning him they fulfilled the words of the prophets that are read every Sabbath.  28 Though they found no proper ground for a death sentence, they asked Pilate to have him executed.  29 When they had carried out all that was written about him, they took him down from the tree and laid him in a tomb.  30 But God raised him from the dead, 31 and for many days he was seen by those who had traveled with him from Galilee to Jerusalem. They are now his witnesses to our people”. 

 

Having connected with his hearer’s, Paul proceeded to communicate the Gospel or Good News to them in terms they could understand.  He referred to basic historical information that they were already aware of, but explained the significance.  For they had probably heard about John the Baptist, about Jesus and the fact He was crucified.

 

In the same way today, we have to communicate the same truths of the Good News in ways that makes sense to people today. 


Firstly, our friends need to hear how turning to Jesus has impacted our lives.

 

Firstly, our friends need to hear how turning to Jesus has impacted our lives.  With this, you have to share your stories. 


Secondly, our friends have to understand why we all need salvation and how they can have it. 

 

Secondly, our friends have to understand why we all need salvation and how they can have it.  There is a very simple way to explain.  Just use 4 simple key points.  This is a variation on the 4 Spiritual Laws.

 

God Loves.

  • God loves us and offers a wonderful purpose for our lives.

  • God loves us to this extent expressed in John 3:16 (NIV) For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 

  • God loves us so much that Jesus promised in John 10:10 (NRSV) I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

  • But why is it so many of us do not experience this abundant life?

     

Sin Separates. 

  • The Bible declares that all men is sinful in Rom 3:23 (NIV) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. 

  • Sin is stubborn self-will, where we have chosen to do things our way rather than God’s way.  We can see the evidence of sin in our lives such as the selfishness, unforgiveness, bitterness, jealousy, hatred, etc. The strife, destruction, etc in this world comes from this sinful self-will where we have chosen to go things our way, instead of God’s way. 

  • Sin separates us from having a relationship with God. Rom 6:23 (NIV) For the wages of sin is death…

  • For God who is holy has to judge our sins with eternal death.

  • So what hope is left for us?

     

Jesus Joins.

  • Jesus is the only person who can join us back in relationship to God.  Jesus is the Saviour, God’s only provision for man’s sins.

  • Isa 53:5 - 6 (NIV) 5 … he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. 6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

  • Jesus died in our place at the cross. Rom 5:8 (NIV) …God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

  • And Jesus rose again on the 3rd day.  He was brought back to life. Death had no hold on Him. 1 Cor 15:3 - 6 (NIV) 3 …Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,  4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,  5 and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve.  6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred... 

  • That is why Jesus could claim that Jesus is the only way to God. John 14:6 (NIV) Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. Jesus is the only one who has gone to heaven and came back.

  • So how can we have this?

 

People Pick

  • Each one of us has to make a personal choice.  People have to pick.  Whether or not to receive Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord.

  • We can receive Christ only through faith in Him.  Eph 2:8 - 9 (NIV) 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—  9 not by works, so that no one can boast. It is choosing to trust.

  • To receive Christ as our Saviour involves a choice.  An act of the will.  A commitment.  To repent, that is turn from living our own way and to follow God’s way.  To trust Christ to come into our lives to forgive us our sins and to lead us in His ways.

 

CHOICE: URGING TO CHOOSE

 

Act 13:42-43 (NIV) “42 As Paul and Barnabas were leaving the synagogue, the people invited them to speak further about these things on the next Sabbath.  43 When the congregation was dismissed, many of the Jews and devout converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas, who talked with them and urged them to continue in the grace of God.”

 

At the conclusion of the sharing, there were many interested to understand more.  Paul and Barnabas urged them to choose following God.  In the same way, even as we communicated the Good News of Jesus Christ, we should urge our friends to consider, to make a choice.  To follow Christ.  Because it is not simply about gaining some new knowledge. It is about making crucial choices.  Choices that will revolutionise their lives for the better.


It is important to prayerfully discern the right timing to ask them whether they would like to make a decision to accept Christ.

 

Hence, it is important to prayerfully discern the right timing to ask them whether they would like to make a decision to accept Christ.  Even if they said no, it rarely means an ultimate no.  It just means they are not ready or are not yet able to reach such a decision. 

 

CONCLUSION

 

For every believer, God is calling you to be a missional disciple.  Will you choose to be one?  Will you seek to take some of the steps we outlined today to make a difference in someone else’s life? 

 

Copyright©️2024 by Wilson Lim. All rights reserved. Materials are free to be distributed in whole or part as long as proper acknowledgement is given to the author and not sold for profit.

 

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