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Seeking: Missional Practices (BELLS)

BELLS

BELLS – A Suggested (Missional) Way of Life for Christ-Followers

The original call of Jesus to the disciples was, “Come, follow me, and I will make you fishers of people” (Mt. 4:19). In making this call, Jesus was passing down his own mission, which, in his words, was to:
  • Seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10),
  • Serve others (Mark 10:45), and
  • Share the good news (Mark 1:38).
In fact, Jesus would later explicitly hand his mission over to the disciples, saying, “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you” (John 20:21).
So Christ followers are a sent, or missional, people, taking up the mission of Christ of seeking, serving, and sharing. (Missional is from the word “missio,” which means “sent.”) All of the teachings from the Sermon on the Mount happened “on the road,” after this calling, to help the disciples in their quest.
Below are some suggested weekly practices for Christ-followers based upon Jesus’ life that can help us in this calling. The practices, adapted from Michael Frost’s work Exiles, form an acronym called “BELLS.”
  • BLESSx3 – Bless three people’s lives each week–one a Christian, one a non-Christian, and the other can be either. A card, a word of encouragement, a gift, a task cheerfully performed–all of these types of small blessings can have a huge impact.
  • EATx3 – Eat together with others three times a week–one a Christian, one a non-Christian, and the other can be either. By sharing meals together like Jesus, we build relationships. So throw and attend dinner parties!
  • LISTEN/Pray x1- Listen to God’s voice each week through prayer & Spiritual disciplines, helping to seek his will for who to reach out to. Conversations with God throughout the day, specific prayers, and spiritual disciplines such as silence, solitude, rest, meditation on Scripture, and fasting help us slow down, stop building our kingdom, and discern God’s will.
  • LEARNx1 –  Learn more about Jesus by reading Scripture each week, especially the gospels. Or, read together a book about Jesus and reaching out. If Jesus is our model, we need to be learning about him.
  • SHAREx1-2/Invite – Share our faith/invite seekers into Christian community once a week, and come back together each week and share our “BELLS” practices with 2-3 other Christians each week. We should intentionally go each week with other Christians into non-Christian settings, perhaps joining a health club, book club, going to a coffee shop, coaching a sports team, etc. Strike up a spiritual conversation and invite people to join or host a Bible study, come to worship, etc. Christ-followers cam also get together once a week over coffee with 2-3 others or in a small group and share how they tried to live out these BELLS practices. This sharing is joyous & brings voluntary accountability. This get together is also an opportunity to share struggles, confess sins, and give and receive prayer to help us be more Christlike.
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