Missional Lifestyle Design
In modern western culture we are trending toward streamlined, minimalist, stripped-down… everything. Our design, our architecture, our fashion, our technology – it’s all becoming more tight and efficient. A trend that is becoming increasingly popular among minimalist enthusiasts (including myself).
It is referred to as "Lifestyle Design", the premise of which is simply defining your values and priorities and stripping the excess. While I certainly don’t expect everyone to adopt this lifestyle when it comes to practical living, it’s a good exercise for us as we put into practice a “Missional Lifestyle”.
Identifying those things which we value, such as attending Church, reading scripture before bed, praying as a family and encouraging scripture memorization, allows us to reprioritize our schedule so that we are maximizing our time to complete those activities that we value most. Those activities which we find consuming our time and energy can then be stripped away which not only allows us to maintain spiritual focus and momentum but also reduces our temptation to fall into a pattern of idolatry.
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,"
-Hebrews 12:1 (ESV)
The author of Hebrews writes concerning this practice of stripping our lives of that which slows us down in our Kingdom race. I want to make an important distinction that gets passed over often – weight and sin. Easily we can preach, “Stop looking at pornography” or “Throw off that sin of jealousy” but when we start preaching, “Do you think you should be working overtime so much? How much time are you getting to spend with your family?” you begin to feel the heat. People don’t want to hear that. It’s not a sin so why can’t I do it? The author understood a hard-to-swallow truth that what we do can easily become who we are. Our identity becomes wrapped up in this activity and before you know it, we find ourselves worshiping at the altar of working out, reading, playing video games or playing music. None of these are inherently evil but can rob God of our attention and focus.
When we are truthful about our priorities with ourselves, it becomes painfully obvious what must stay and what must go. The stripped down version of your life that emerges is a mission-centered life using your talents to facilitate God’s witness not the other way around.
1. How much time am I investing in my occupation or hobbies vs. my family?
2. What role does my Church family (not Church events) play in my life?
3. When was the last time I shared the Gospel with someone?
4. How have you used your talents, occupation or social involvement to share Christ and His love?