Simple Ways to Be Missional

How do we as faculty engage mission as a way of life? It’s not as hard as you might think.

Here’s some suggestions garnered from several articles on cultivating missional habits into our lives (see links at bottom of the page).

Simply connect with people where you are.

Your everyday situations can be the stage on which God wants to work. You can, for example, go to the same place in the student union or coffee shop at the same time every week to catch up on some light reading. Or you might breakfast at the same diner Mondays and Wednesdays. At those locations, get to know the staff and regulars. Ask questions. Be regularly present. Build relationships. Connecting with others in “third places” often revolutionizes our missional lives without a single ounce of extra-expended energy. Better yet, pick a place frequented by faculty and students and allow opportunities for conversation to develop.

Eat with colleagues and friends.

We all eat three meals a day, and it appears that some of us may get 5 or 6. Why not make a habit of sharing one of those meals with a seeking colleague? It’s often easy to eat only with our Christian friends. Why not invite someone to lunch – someone with whom you want to build a trust relationship?

Find hobbies or interests that you can share.

Often, our hobbies or interests provide a fun environment for connection and conversation. Several faculty we know love to fly-fish and often invite colleagues to join them. Other faculty might be into wood-working or hunting or league sports or exercise clubs. Our places of play can be winsome for others—leading easily to significant conversations with our colleagues.

Volunteer for non-profits.

All of us are busy, but service has a renewing aspect. Several faculty recently spent the morning with Habitat for Humanity, meeting and working with others from the university and surrounding community, as well as helping a family of seven from Sudan. We can find lots of ways to engage in our universities and in the surrounding communities.

As Christ-followers, we can take the lead in bringing all the resources of the university to the broken places of our community, as well as to struggling areas on our campus. We can and perhaps should take the lead in such efforts. When we do such deeds, the Bible calls the work honorable and a cause for others to honor God (1 Peter 2:12).

It can be very satisfying to find creative missional ways to build the Kingdom where we walk.

— Jay Lorenzen, retired, USAFA

Kindle the Missional Imagination (