The Christian and Missionary Alliance denomination puts out a magazine called Alliance Life. In a past issue, I found an article about living missionally and instilling this mindset in to students. Below are my favorite parts of the article, which sum up what living missionally means and what it means for our student ministries:
To live missionally in the United States is to understand that God has first called us to Himself. Obviously, we can only get to Him through Jesus Christ, who shows us and teaches us how we should live. I think believers have a distinct choice: we could either say, “Wow, those things Jesus said are great ideas, and if we follow those principles we will be great people.” Or we can be a bit more aggressive and say, “We need to do exactly what He asked us to do: care for the poor, defend the weak, care for widows—all those things—living in humility, seeking first His Kingdom, being Spirit led.”
I think living missionally does not mean living more urban or being more progressive. I think that gets confused a lot. It literally means doing the things that Jesus asked us to do. It is not connected to geography. [For example], it does not assume that if you are going to live missionally, it’s going to have to be in Zambia, but that you follow Acts 1:8 and do it here. If God asks you to go further out into the world, great. But missional living isn’t about where it happens; it’s about if it happens at all ……
Our goal is to not pump out great international workers but to pump out a generation that is thinking missionally. Whether God calls them to go is irrelevant; that comes only through their relationship with Him ……
[E]very believer has been given the ministry of reconciliation; every believer has been asked to tell of God’s deeds.
We are calling students to a closer relationship with God. The question is not, “Should I go to Africa or should I be in Chicago?” The question is, “Would I know if God is asking me to do these things?” Anyone can get on stage and convince you to go to Africa; I can do it tomorrow with a bunch of kids, just by my passion. But the question is would they actually hear God say that? I believe they can, but I don’t believe they do, because we have confused the call of God.
If you look at God through the lens of Jesus Christ, the Incarnation, you see someone always on task with what the Father wants Him to do. That comes from a strong connection to the heart of His Father. I think that as you draw closer to God, He says to you all those things that Jesus said—love the poor, care for them, be compassionate. It’s not a question of should we bring the gospel or should we be compassionate; it’s both/and ……
Kids always ask me, “Should I go to this school? Should I become a youth pastor?” I think they are asking the wrong questions. The question is, “Do I know what God wants me to do?” I could say, “Yes, you would be awesome in this kind of a job.” But that’s not what you are after; you are really after the heart of God for your specific life and what He wants you to do.
Kids are always concerned: “I am asking Him, like, ALL THE TIME.” But He wants you at His feet, constantly seeking His will. If He gave you an answer sooner than later, then you might not draw back there. You might be like, “Thank you, I got it,” and you are off to do your own thing.
His whole desire is to be with you. What happens after that is completely secondary. When Judgment Day comes, no one is going to ask what they need to do; they just are going to want to be with Him.