Remain in the situation that I am called? – This idea comes from 1 Corinthians 7:20 which states; “Each person should remain in the situation they were in when God called them.” In other words, if you come to faith while being a sanitation worker, then you should stay in the sphere of saintly sanitation service, and be an example to those who do not yet know the Gospel of the Kingdom or it’s King. John the Baptizer alluded to the same idea when both tax collectors and soldiers, yes… soldiers, came to him for baptism asking “what shall we do?” In a sense, they were asking if they should leave their discredited, unsanctified, or contemptible professions. In both cases John never recommended that they leave their situation, but act in a way which served others and brought glory to the Lord.
Follow the Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and Uttermost Trajectory – This idea comes from Acts 1:8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” This passage has been used to support the idea of working within one’s immediate context first, and then spiraling outward geographically towards the periphery. In other words, always pushing towards the fringes and sustaining outward movement. Additionally, this thinking may include pushing outward culturally, ideologically, and philosophically into other camps or world views. It’s been argued that this principle is prescriptive for all believers who desire to do mission.
Station and Season Approach – To me, this idea comes from several passages like Acts 14:28 “And they stayed there a long time with the disciples,” and its preceding verses Acts 14:21 “They preached the gospel in that city and won a large number of disciples. Then they returned to Lystra, Iconium and Antioch.” There are others examples of staying for a season or establishing a station for the equipping of the saints and for the furtherance of the gospel and then moving on.
I think that those of the “missional persuasion,” myself included, should be careful about imposing our own convictions on others and telling them where we think they should be and how long they should be there. I think that all three scenarios above are valid and viable. Finally, the giftings of individuals in the body are diverse. These gifts often help to determine and balance between direction and destination. Being missional is not only living as sent where you are, but carrying sent-ness wherever you’re directed to go.
What are your thoughts?
In part II of this series I’ll address the next question;
“What if I don’t want to be Missional?“