November 21, 2013

Every Mission Field is Different

Moving to LA was a shock in more ways then one. When we first got here I told Tyler that moving to California was like moving to a different country and I still say it to this day. If you've lived in LA, you can basically live anywhere after that. I have learned so many things since moving here and Jesus has shaped me in more ways then I can count. Something that Tyler and I struggled with and definitely learned a lot about was sharing our faith.
It's not that we weren't familiar with the concept before, but living here brought to light a lot of things we had never really encountered before and really forced us to learn to share our faith in new ways. (Hopefully I can really share what's on my heart today.) Early on in my experience God was very specific in telling me that he didn't care about what "kind" of people I encountered, my job was to build a relationship with them so they could get to know HIM. This can bring on a whole new set of challenges when you've grown up in the Bible Belt and everyone you encountered was familiar with Jesus in one way or another and Joplin is basically full of 700,000 Christians... you get the idea.
Tyler and I were basically thrown into situations where we felt like NO ONE knew Jesus or had any interest in knowing him either. So out of our experiences these are ways that have helped us when sharing our faith. 

1.) Meet people right where they are. Back home this wasn't always that hard, a lot of people we encountered had similar backgrounds or beliefs. Tyler and I have met so many different people with different stories and backgrounds and Jesus helped us to meet them right where there were. We stopped thinking that they had to meet US where we were. - I Corinthians 9:22

2.) Be loving and encouraging. I think it can be really easy to be unloving to someone who is different then you without even trying. A look on your face or a tone in you voice can do it. Tyler and I were chatting the other day and discussing that when we encounter others we want them to feel loved and encouraged by us. - John 13:34-35, Ephesians 4:2

3.) Pray in the moment.  This is something that I do often. There have been many times were friends I have and people I encounter share with me different things with me. And in those moments as I listen, I do my best to love them and I pray silently and I ask God to use me, because I'm not always sure what to do. My job is simply to be God's vessel. - 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

4.) Be tentative to the Holy Spirits guidence. Tyler and I have talked about how it's easy for us to get in the way. It easy for us to think we know what to say or do. And so we pray specifically that we won't get in the way, that we will listen to the Holy Spirit and allow ourselves to be used. We know that we can't do any of this on our own so we do our best to be guided by the Holy Spirit. - Romans 8:26, John 14:26, John 16:13

5.) Be in community with other believers. Tyler and I always feel encouraged when we spend time in community with fellow believers. It would be 100 times harder if we didn't have others around us praying for us and challenging us to always seek the Kingdom. -  Hebrews 10:24-25

Because Tyler works in the entertainment industry I like to say we are secret agents. Many believers working in the industry feel alone. We've had many conversation with others about similar struggles we all share... it's hard sometimes because often times people just aren't interested. And sometimes their behavior and beliefs are completely opposite to ours. But this is our mission field. We are here for a reason, we simply put one foot in front of the other, we step out in faith, we trust God. We are HIS vessels.

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10 comments:

  1. Wow. What a great post! I've been struggling with this issue myself lately. You bring up some great points, and I really appreciate you sharing about this! Blessings to you both :)

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    1. Thanks Amanda! This is still hard for us all the time. God teaches us new stuff all the time and it's hard too, because people here are much more guarded.

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  2. what a beautiful mission field!!! praying for you!!

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  3. This is wonderful! I feel this exact way often, living in Portland. I always have to remind myself that my job, neighborhood, and even some friends are my mission field.

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    1. Yes, absolutely! It's easy to forget sometimes, but I love how God always gently reminds us.

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  4. Such good tips. what a fun experience for you both! (: found you from noor's linky

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    1. Aww, thank you! Yes it has been so much fun and such a learning experience!

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  5. friend, i am praying for you! i know just from my visits to cali that it is definitely much different from the south and living in the Bible Belt. i can only imagine as a believer how difficult it would be to live in that culture as you're striving to be a light for Christ. points 1-5...amen. yes to all of those! i was recently talking to a friend about the best way to share Christ with the people around you (AKA my coworkers) these days, and i completely agree you need to meet people where they are. we need to come to people with love and grace while inviting them into our lives. Jesus uses our words and actions to bring others to Himself, which is a good reminder for me to choose words carefully and act with a heart focused on Jesus.

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    1. Thank you! Thank you! Prayers always appreciated! Yes, yes, your words are so wise!

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