coincide rhythms…

Yep. Still talking about rhythms for mission in life.

I want to share one more way, one more easy way, of establishing mission driven rhythms in your life.

This article will focus on hobbies and activities you are involved in.  Because let’s say  are wanting to know how God might be wanting you, to not necessarily add anything to your life, but maybe delete something so you can replace it with a new rhythm.

Let’s say this picture below is a snapshot of the rhythms you currently have. Image-1

And this second picture here is a snapshot of the rhythms that your friends have in their lives. Image-1-2

You can see that the two pictures don’t really match up all that well, right? So then maybe in order to get on mission with whom the Spirit already has in your life, this is type of re-orientation that you could do. Image-1-3

You simply drop fishing out of the picture and start asking Rick if you can tag along with him when he goes hunting. And who knows if one day he’ll end up wanting to go fishing with you instead of hunting. Next, you replace College Football with going to the movies in order to focus on Mike. You can figure out how to develop a connection with him there. And nothing too incredible has to happen with Ted because you both run. All that needs to happen is you to invite him into your current rhythm.

So adding a 6th activity to your life when you already have 5 going on doesn’t have to be the only option for missional rhythms. You can still have 5 rhythms, but you just have to swap 2 out for 2 new ones. And is that too much to ask if it allows you an opportunity to usher the Gospel into someone’s life? Be careful how you answer that one. :)

redeem your rhythms…

If you are like me, one of the biggest questions that I have had concerning rhythms is, although you may enjoy and appreciate the idea of creating rhythms to do mission, you might have no idea how to incorporate one more things into your already busy and over-scheduled life. I get that. I hear that. It is something I’ve thought of too.

r-OVERSCHEDULED-KIDS-AND-STRESSED-OUT-PARENTS-large570I was there when I first started thinking about rhythms. I’m married, have 2 kids, work 40+ hours a week, work 2 different semi-part time jobs on weekends, host a dinner on Tuesday nights, and hang out at a bar every Thursday evening. So, how do I add one more thing to my plate without stressing out about how I’m not on mission? That is a valid question. It is. And I’d like to try and answer that question in 2 different ways.

First, I really don’t think we need to add a bunch of new things to our life in order to create mission-minded rhythms. I honestly don’t. Each believer already has rhythms, and all they need to do is redeem the ones that they already have. Simple.

You eat dinner, right? Invite people over for dinner a few times a month. Boom! Two birds with one stone. You take breaks in the break-room at work, right? Talk to people while you’re in there instead of having your face buried in your phone. Two birds with one stone. You work out each week, right? Run with a neighbor. Both of you need it and you can run much further with someone than by yourself. Two birds with one stone. Redeem the rhythms you already have. Its not that hard. (If you have further questions about doing things this way, see what Jeff Vanderstelt has to say in the clip below.)

Second, if you honestly can’t figure out how to make room for a new rhythm or how to redeem one of the rhythms that you already have, then you are probably too busy with the wrong things. If you truly believe that you don’t have time for people who don’t know Jesus to be in your life, then you are chasing pointless stuff. They may be good things. They may not be bad things. But if they keep you from mission, then they are distracting things. And that is not good. Not good. Jesus had something to say about people who were too busy doing things instead of actually loving Him (see Matthew 25:37-46). If you are going to get on mission for Jesus there is going to be some re-orientation of the priorities in your life. Jesus never told anyone who decided to follow Him to not change their life at all and to keep things the way that they were. He consistently had a challenge for them that called for action. If you can’t fit Jesus into your life, then your life is too packed with the wrong things.

Having rhythms in your life doesn’t need to consist of reinventing the wheel, but simply of redeeming the wheel you already have your hands on.

rhythms.again…

So, we have discussed the need for establishing rhythms and the importance of it. How to go about trying to start some rhythms. This time we’ll take a crack at the mindset we should have about our rhythms.

So, you are going to start a new rhythm.  Maybe it is hanging out with friends during happy hour on Wednesdays after work, going to the local tennis club, inviting neighbors over for dinner instead of eating by yourself. What types of things should you be thinking and processing while you are rhythm-ing?

Evangelism-oh-noThis is where, I believe, it can become over complicated if we let it. I was taught when I was younger that while I was “evangelizing” to be looking for a way to sneak in talk about the church, Jesus, and sin. It was up to me to be on guard to look for a way to pounce on them with Jesus once the opportunity presented itself.

Here is the problem with this method: Jesus rarely pounced. I can only think of a few times that He did. Almost all the time He just existed with people. He was present with them. He lived with them. He was their friend. And that type of lifestyle sounds much more inviting and attractive than having to be on guard every time you have a conversation with someone who you aren’t sure knows Jesus. And honestly, how genuine, authentic, and real (all words Christians love to use about themselves) it is to always have a loaded gun on you every time you have a conversation with someone? I understand that sometimes a conversation needs to be had about something, but every time? Come on, no.

What I’m getting at is that you should just be yourself when entering into these rhythms. Be truly genuine, authentic and real, but don’t be pounce-y, ya know? Don’t be pushy. Be present. Listen. Love. Invest. Dig in. Get messy. Ask the Spirit for help. Reorient. Die for these people.

And the comforting truth about the whole thing is that God is invested and loves the same people who you are trying to build relationships with. If He wants all to come to a knowledge of truth (1 Tim. 2:3-4), and loves and died for the whole world (John 3:16), then He is interested in the same people who you are. That means that the Spirit is already involved and at work in those people.* And if the Spirit is already at work with these people, then trust Him that this is where you are supposed to be. Make connections and dig into the lives of these people.

“Okay, but what if I try something and it fails?” Don’t worry about it. Now you know what God has not called you to, or at least, what He hasn’t called you to for this season, but maybe some other season in the future. Just keep looking for where God wants you at. Ask the Spirit and try to follow Him the best that you know how when it comes to where and who you feel called and sent to.

Lastly today, when it comes to where you are sent not many people ever think to themselves “This is exactly where I want to be called. This place makes so much sense and will be so easy for me.” It seems like every time someone talks about where God has called them it sounds a lot more like, “I never would have thought about this. It is so out of my comfort zone. It is crazy God called us here…but it makes total sense.” If God has called you somewhere and you believe that this is where the Spirit is leading, then believe it. Ignore the naysayers and keep listening to the Spirit.

I hope this all helps you figure out what to do with these rhythms we’ve been talking discussing.

*For more study on this idea look up the “Seven Realities” of the Experiencing God study by Henry Blackaby.