What are some opportunities to be more intentional?
Nothing is accidental with God. He has uniquely created each of us and has placed us in our assigned times and places in history. If we are in tune with Him, then we can find ways to be more intentional in our witness for Him wherever we are. Remember that the responsibility of a witness is simply to tell what has been “seen or heard.” Any of us with a genuine relationship with Jesus has a story and we need to be intentional in telling it. Make sure you have a story and are prepared to tell it.
There are several areas in our lives where we can find opportunities to be more intentional in our witness. Here are some.
In our families–there are always opportunities to restore broken relationships, pursue reconciliation, and extend forgiveness. Reading and teaching Scripture at home is one of the best ways to develop families who are witness-oriented. And doing things like this will naturally set up opportunities for “spiritual conversations.”
With our neighbors–Do you even know your neighbors? Do you know when things (good or bad) are happening in their lives? Do they know that you’re saved? Bake some cookies and write a personal note. Keep helpful resources around (gifts books, devotionals, games for children, etc.) that can be brought out when the occasion is right. Think of something you can do for your immediate neighbors that tells them you want to get to know them. Then cultivate the relationships that emerge. God will use these intentional actions to work His plan in their lives.
At work–Instead of being “sterile” and “professional” at work, learn how to see work associates as human beings with problems, joys, disappointments, and families. Get to know them as people and ask God to use the budding relationships for His glory and for their good. Depending on your work environment, try to set up a brief Bible study or devotional time one day each week outside of work hours. People at work are just that, people. They have the same needs and desires we do. And their biggest need is to experience the love of Jesus.
In our communities–We need to first minister to our communities before we can go out to the ends of the world. In all our communities we can find hungry, homeless, and oppressed people. Families are in crisis and children are vulnerable. Schools are struggling. In most cities, there are church ministries that are both “humanitarian” in their approach and “evangelistic” in their mission. Do your research and find one to serve with. Schools, food programs, crisis pregnancy centers, and rescue missions are great places to start. If you are being intentional, your unique insights and gifting will allow you to see wonderful opportunities to simply share Jesus’ love for people. And quite probably, God will raise up opportunities for further ministry with them.
In our nation–Speak for righteousness with both conviction and compassion. Vote for leaders who honor and respect God’s truth.
In our world–If you can, find a way to get involved in short-term mission trips through your church. This is a great way to observe God at work in many different cultures. It brings encouragement to those missionaries who have committed their lifetimes to God in ministry. It will help you become more natural in your daily interactions with people. And God may use this to help you realize for yourself a call to lifetime cross-cultural missions.