Today, the mission field is right outside our doors. In the United States, there is a growing number of people who do not identify with any faith tradition. The “nones,” as they have been identified, are one reason to live as an every day missionary.
A more basic reason to see discipleship as an every day missionary practice is to integrate faith in daily life. An integrated life allows discipleship to unfold in the context of where we live, work, and play. When our relationship with Jesus intersects our relationships with others, we take the opportunity to be Christ to the people we encounter. As a result, the city streets, suburban neighborhoods, and rural lanes where we live provide a context for discipleship. Allow me to suggest, discipleship as a daily missionary practice is not a new idea, but seeks to embody the very task we articulate as central to being United Methodists.
As we engage in understanding our contexts we will be better able to demonstrate the gospel in ways that integrate faith in daily life. In doing so, the Primary Task becomes a missional mandate for faithful United Methodist disciples.
In the midst of it all, I believe the local church is central to the transformation of our communities and neighborhoods. The best way I know to transform communities is to help deploy people on the daily mission of following Jesus. Living as a disciple of Jesus Christ is the greatest act of faith we can hope to experience.