Adults on Mission

It’s about Relationships

I have heard it said by many that religion is man seeking God but being a Christ follower is a personal relationship with Jesus. Do you have a personal relationship with Christ? If you do, then you can share that relationship with others just as you tell a friend about someone you just met.

Sharing Christ is like sharing a friendship with others. You can tell others how your Friend Jesus has helped you, what He has done for you, and how knowing Him has changed your life. Who are your friends who don’t know Jesus? Do you have neighbors who don’t have a personal relationship with Christ?

Jesus gave His all so we can have a personal relationship with Him. What are you giving so others—your friends, your neighbors, your co-workers—can have a relationship with Jesus? It’s not about religion or denomination; it’s about a real, everyday relationship with the Creator of the universe—Jesus. Tell others about your Friend today.

Responding to Disasters to Share Christ

As a member of the Texas Baptist Men’s disaster relief shower and laundry unit in Austin, I am often called out to help those who have faced a traumatic event in their lives. We are there to meet victims’ basic needs in a dire situation—we wash their clothes and provide hot showers with clean towels for them.

But more importantly, we are there to minister to their souls and share the love of Christ. Victims of floods like we have had in Texas this year or other disasters are hurting and need comfort. We listen and when we establish a relationship with each person, then we tell him or her about our Jesus, Who is the Everlasting Comforter.

Our motto is Anyway, Anytime, Anywhere—Love, More Than Words and it means being on mission for Christ, sharing His love in a tangible way for eternity. We make a difference in people’s lives for now and forever.

What opportunities do you have to help others so you can share the love of Christ? How have you learned to live a missions lifestyle?

Discipling for Christ

Christ discipled those who followed Him and they learned from Him how to make disciples of others. He taught them how to have a missions lifestyle.

Who are the people you remember discipling you? I remember my Girls’ Auxiliary (now Girls in Action) leader and the WMU director from the church where I grew up. The missions education I received from them has expanded for decades and resulted in me starting an Acteens program at my current church.

For others, it also began with missions education as a child. At a recent state WMU meeting, my pastor recalled his Sunbeams (now Mission Friends) and Royal Ambassadors leaders and how they inspired his life. At another church in my city, I have a friend who has been a RA leader for more than 50 years.

Meeting Physical Needs

Remember how the men and women who followed Jesus attended to his physical needs—whether it was a place to stay or food to eat or giving Him time to rest. These followers were all in for following Christ and living for Him. Perhaps, they were the first Adults on Mission™.

Those followers had personal relationships with Jesus, just like we have personal relationships with those whom we disciple. There are people in need in every city or town. They may be lonely, hungry, or homeless, or all three. By developing a personal relationship (yes, it can be messy as one Christian Women’s Job Corps™ director has said), you can let them see Jesus in you.

How are you all in at following Christ? Jesus told His believers that, "'Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me’” (Matt. 25:40 NIV). Men and women today can be all in for Christ by following His example and serving the least of these and meeting their physical needs today.

Missionary Spotlight Update: Josh and Tiffany Lenon

Josh and Tiffany Lenon have included relationship-building principles in planting Red Door Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. Now they are extending their efforts to Cincinnati’s second Red Door Church.

City church plants, especially those with a millennial base, typically rely on electronic media to reach their communities. And Red Door Church has an especially effective online presence.

However, such sites are also used to communicate with a much wider community. The Lenons are grateful when others outside their city visit IAmRedDoor.org for updates, especially when the news those visitors read fuels prayers for the ministry. Some may be motivated to not only pray but also support this effort with gifts—financial or service-oriented.

Love a Friend to Christ

Chaney was fresh out of college, living in a city hundreds of miles from home with no friends. That is with no friends yet.

On her first day at her new job, she met Melinda and a friendship was born. What Chaney didn’t know is that friendship is Melinda’s way of doing missions.

An invitation to lunch led to a Saturday night movie, and then, “Would you like to go to church with me tomorrow morning?” Melinda asked. How could Chaney say no? A few months later, Chaney accepted Christ and joined a new believers’ class.

Melinda practices friendship missions as a natural way of sharing her faith and seeing the harvest of simply offering friendship.

Here are a few questions or concerns you might have about friendship missions:

Is it kind of sneaky to make a friend with the idea of bringing him or her to Jesus?

No. After all, the best thing you can do for any friend is to introduce him or her to Jesus, so what is underhanded about that?

I’m not a very outgoing person, so I wouldn’t be good at this.

Just be a friend and invite someone to church. Then be prepared to discuss what happened.

“Church” Is a Verb

“My passion is the university student,” said Chris Julian, a university student worker. He and his wife, Melody, have devoted their lives to students. They started working with students in their hometown of Memphis and then moved to South Carolina and Alabama before settling in Brazil about 20 years ago.

Now in Sao Leopoldo, they work with students and started a house church called Zoe, which means “abundant life” in Greek.

“We teach that ‘church’ is a verb and not something we do once a week,” Chris Julian said.

Although Zoe meets once a week like any other church, the gathering celebrates “where we’ve seen God moving the week prior.” They share food, testimonies, prayer, and Bible studies and then seek ways to engage the community.

“We’ve worked in slums, given out free hugs and hot chocolate at metro stops, and held block parties in our home,” Chris Julian said. This comes easily for Melody Julian who has the gift of hospitality and loves to cook.

A Church Grows in Brooklyn

Born and raised in Westchester, New York, James T. Roberson III was a typical high school student and athlete.

“Though I grew up in church, my relationship with God was defined more by praying for wins in football and passing classes in school,” Roberson said honestly.

After graduating from high school (which he calls a miracle), he was off to Valley Forge Military College. He later graduated from James Madison University (JMU). It was during his college years that he became involved with Campus Crusade for Christ, which intensified his relationship with God.

“[In college], I was introduced to a consistent lifestyle of living for God,” Roberson said. And that is where he met his wife, Natarsha. The couple have served a wide spectrum of people through campus ministry at 3 universities in Virginia; Washington, D.C.; and Texas and 4 church plants in Maryland, North Carolina, and Georgia.

In 2013, the Robersons, along with their 2 young daughters, moved to Brooklyn, New York, to start The Bridge Church.

Call to Refocus

“How are you?’ the teacher asked.

“Ready to go home.” I had been at work for an hour and felt defeated already.

Tension filled our office. We complained about work conditions and each other. Most communication from upper management was about unsatisfactory productivity or additions to our workload. I was unsure why God wasn’t intervening although I prayed for help daily.

One morning while praising God for His sovereignty, I released my worries and fears to Him. I decided to trust God and do my work as unto the Lord (Colossians 3:23). I focused on praising God, setting healthy boundaries, and asking God to help me meet agency requirements.

I told a coworker of my desire to pray with others in the office with similar frustrations, sharing how I found peace after changing my focus. She told me about a self-care group sponsored by a previous employer and encouraged me to “do it.”

WMU Wins Souls for Christ

I’ve worked with WMU for several years. I attended several leadership conferences, and I was a workshop leader representing Sisters Who Care. During one conference, Ms. Chocolate spoke about the needs of children in her community. She encouraged us to spread the gospel in our neighborhoods stating, “How will they know unless we tell them?”

I’ve recalled those words often. I’ve interviewed missionaries who are thankful for readers’ prayers for them, their families, and for the salvation of the people groups they serve. Missionaries sacrifice the comforts of home to meet the physical and spiritual needs of those who’ve never heard nor thought of having a relationship with God who created them. “How will they know?”

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