After going on a long missions trip, you may settle back into reality and the mundane routine of life. It is easy to get complacent or comfortable, but let us remember that in our world, our place of influence and even our own backyard is a mission field. Sometimes people mistake missions overseas for being grander than the influence or reach we can have locally. Both types of sharing the Gospel are valuable. We can’t downplay the influence we have in our field of work, in the friendships we have and in the areas of life that we impact other people. I want to encourage you to keep walking in the anointing and calling God has placed over your life and to keep up the good work of the Lord, even after the big trip overseas or the mission with a team.
Here are some things to remember when returning from a conference or missions trip, and tips on how to stay passionate about the GREAT co-mission.
1. Don’t lose your passion or zeal to win souls: Of course when we come back from a trip, we can feel like we will conquer the world and will be fueled with truth. We can experience an awakening of reality or spiritual speaking, or can even be exhausted from the work that was just poured out. Remember to keep seeking Jesus and the Word of God to stay fueled, strong and on fire for the Lord (Ephesians 6).
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. (Ephesians 6:10)
2. Stay focused on the prize: We all have a mission in life, whether it’s to make a lot of money, to have success in a work field or, if Kingdom-minded, to win souls for Christ. Where is your mentality? Do you partner with God in the CO-MISSION (Matthew 28) of reaching souls for the sake of the good news?
Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:16-20)
3. Realize your anointing and authority: As Spirit-filled believers, the same power that raised Christ from the dead lives inside of us, and Jesus tells us that we have the same power to do even greater works than He did on this earth. The authority as children of God has been given to us as an inheritance as sons and daughters, and the earth awaits for the coming of the children of light to come forth. Don’t downplay the impact YOU have on people’s lives. You are equipped by God’s power, you are able because God is able, you are capable because in our weakness HE is strong, amen? (2 Corinthians 12:9)
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
and to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes,
the oil of joy instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord
for the display of his splendor.
4. Be bold in the Lord: Know that in our weakness HE is strong! Sometimes we might be shy or not know how to witness to others if we don’t have a team of people around us or aren’t on a specific missions trip, but GOD IS WITH US, amen?
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)
5. Seek out the lost and love: Think of your world, your sphere of influence and those you can impact. You don’t need to initially bolt into sharing the Gospel with people right away, but rather develop relationships and friendships in love. Listen to those who are hurting and have needs, or just spend time with people whom you know need it. Conversations are always great ways to help plant seeds, and of course we can share our faith via social media and through email, too. But let us not shove it down people’s throats, as Relevant magazine mentions in the article “How to Talk About God Without Making It Weird.” It also brings up a good point to not speak “Christianese” (or spiritual terms that nonbelievers may not understand).
6. Be a good listener: Listen to people and don’t always feel like you have to prove a point or that you are right. Even Jesus stayed silent when the leaders of the day were mocking Him, saying He was full of blasphemy and was to be crucified. Jesus didn’t need to be argumentative because He knew who He was. He was unmovable and unshakeable. If we want to make change, we need to understand God is on the throne and is not surprised by man’s rejection of unbelief. Some people need time to digest the Gospel and need to go at their own pace. Everyone is in a different season, spiritually speaking, so we need to be sensitive to this.
7. Walk in humility: Realize YOU were saved by grace (Ephesians 2:8) and it is God’s mercy that you believe. Don’t assume everyone has the same background as you and the same upbringing, because they don’t. I have sometimes carried the weight of people who are not saved, and in true love wanted to help lead people to Jesus. But I needed to realize God doesn’t need my help—HE is able to save and is mighty. It is God’s love that ALLOWS us to be a part of the Kingdom as sons and daughters who are able to shine light in a dark world. Don’t ever assume you are better than someone because they don’t believe what you believe, and please try to speak with love when sharing. Getting argumentative about Jesus, the Gospel, the Bible and Christianity is NOT what God wants. If someone rejects it, keep going, keep walking in love, keep shining and maybe the salt you sprinkle in their lives will produce a thirst for THEM to ask YOU questions, instead of you always bringing it up, amen? (Galatians 5:16)
8. Trust in God’s timing: We may have people in our lives who don’t quite believe Jesus is the Messiah, the Savior of the world, or may not realize all of our desperate needs for a Savior to have a right relationship with God. We need to have patience and trust in God’s timing to bring people in the Kingdom by His Spirit. We can pray, plant seeds and water, but God ultimately gives the increase.
I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. (1 Corinthians 3:6)
9. Listen to worship for inspiration: We need to keep our minds focused on Jesus when it comes to walking in the Spirit, and to help do what God’s will is. We need to pray continually and fix our eyes on the one who is able to help us in life. We can’t carry the burden of missions work, but we can lay our requests at God’s feet and at the throne. Worship is an amazing way to release our praise and requests, and to also stay filled up spiritually. Music also has the ability to fuel a passion in you. Some of my favorite worship or Christian artists are Kari Jobe, Tenth Avenue North, Switchfoot, Lecrae, Hillsong United and Chris Tomlin.
10. Read God’s Holy Word: We need to have the Word on our hearts and minds in order for us to do the best in reaching people for the sake of the Gospel. Reading God’s Word also helps us to understand how Jesus walked, how he dealt with people and how the disciples preached the Gospel in their area, which spread throughout the whole world. They obviously did something right, as we still have the same testimonies and accounts in the Holy Word of God, the Bible.
Read this article on Relevant magazine on how to share the Gospel with people who have already heard it before.