This is the last part in the 5 part series about Being a Family on Mission through B.L.E.S.S. If you missed the earlier parts, check them out
B. Begin With Prayer
E. Eating with Others
S. Serving Others
The last S. stands for Sharing Your Story...your Jesus story. If we are to be on mission to make disciples, there will be a time when we have to share the Story of Jesus. If we never get to this part, disciples can not be made. You've heard people say things like, "I share my faith by the way I live.", "My goal is for people to see Christ in me." I totally agree with these statements, but if we never get to the point of presenting the gospel of the Kingdom in words, there is no way they will ever become followers of Jesus.
That, however, is many times the hardest part. Many find it easy to hang with others, share meals with them, love on them, but when you ask them to share their reason for doing these things, finding the words seems like an obstacle we can't overcome...but that is where the first four parts of BLESS come in to set the stage.
By Beginning with prayer, we are making sure we are going where Jesus is leading us. This coupled with making sure we are Listening to God and others allows us to be sensitive to what the Lord is doing, and what really matters in peoples lives. When we Eat and share meals with others, we begin to see the hurts, wounds, needs of people. When we serve them, as Christ would serve them, they see that there is a kingdom where there needs are cared about, and they begin to see something different in you...the Love of God.
I will just point out, that this is not normal...most people today would not take the time to do these things with people they don't know, and after awhile, they will begin to ask "What makes you different?"..."Why are you doing this?" As we have continued to reach out to the homeless at Unity Park by hosting Volleyball tournaments and giving out gift cards, people take notice. They see a "crazy" family who comes down to spend time with them. They see organizations and churches come all the time, but it's when individuals and families come down to give of their time and money, that people are a little perplexed. Each week, people ask us "Why is your family doing this?" "Why are you serving us in this way?"
This is an amazing opportunity. We aren't going around forcing people to hear the gospel...people are coming to us and asking...it is so easy to share your story...the Jesus story when people are asking you? When we tell them we do it because we are followers of Jesus and we love them, they are surprised in a good way. This had led to us being able to share the gospel, pray for people, and invite people into the Kingdom.
Are you living your life in such a way that people are looking at you saying..."What is up?" Live in such a way that you B.L.E.S.S. people...live a life on mission and see what God can do with you and your family.
For more resources on B.LE.S.S. check out Discover Your Mission Now by Dave Ferguson, a really short booklet that can get you started to being a family on mission.
This is a continuation of the blog series..."being a family on mission." We use the acronym B.L.E.S.S as a tool to equip others to live out their calling to be on mission. If you missed the first couple entries, check them out.
B. Begin with Prayer
The first "S" stands for "Serving." We begin with prayer to know where God is sending us, go to where he sends us and listen to the hearts of the people. We share meals with the people, where true relationships can be formed, and barriers break down.
By this point, as you develop relationships with those around you, you should start becoming familiar with the true needs and cries of people's heart. If you want to find out how to truly "love your neighbor as yourself", you must first find out how you can serve them...and once you hear it...do it.
An example from our family's life is our opportunity to serve the homeless in Unity Park in Fort Worth. The first thoughts people have when feeding the homeless is providing food, clothing, toiletries, etc. What we discovered after spending time down there, getting to know the people, is that this was not what they really needed. Ministries in Fort Worth do a great job in taking care of the necessities...what is lacking for them is to give something to do, activities that they don't normally get the chance to do. After praying, we knew the best way we could help them was to provide a volleyball tournament...not the first thing that comes to mind, but exactly what they needed.
On almost a weekly basis, we bring down a volleyball net, a couple of volleyballs, some water, and some gift cards and host a volleyball tournament. Men, women, children, senior citizens all playing together, having fun. Playing in the hot sun, we know water is needed, so Logan and Julian take it upon themselves to "serve" by making sure water cups are filled between game.
Afterwards, we hang around, listen to their stories, and pray for those around. Every week, our family shows up again...as we walk in, we are known as "the volleyball people."...the crazy family who shows up to put on a volleyball tournament, pray with people and give out gift cards.
That's the goal with all of this...serving others to the point where they see you as a little crazy...or as I like to call it, an overflowing of God's love. Our prayer is that we can love and serve those Christ calls us too, just as He would love and serve them. We pray they see Christ in us.
How can you "serve"? Remember, it starts with defeating the assumption that you know what they need. Do not assume that...take time, get to know them, hear the cries of their hearts, and then do what you can to be Christ's love to these people. Serve them in such a way they can't help but wonder what makes you different...why you would do this. From your kids' schools, to your neighborhood, to the homeless downtown, to wherever God leads, serve in such a way that they see you are different. Show Christ's love in such a way that people can't help but questions "Why?"...which leads to our final S in B.L.E.S.S...Your opportunity to story with them...stay tuned...
Living to serve in His Kingdom,