Basic Tools 1 – B: Start small and how to do it

[If you don’t have the workbook, Living the Gospel: A Guide for Individuals and Small Groups, request one. Single copies are also free.]

You like what you’ve read?
You want to give it a try?
Try these steps . . .

A small start in outline – a year:
– Complete all the activities in the workbook yourself
– Advise the official board of your interest
– Explore the activities of the workbook with a select group
– Share the results with the official board
– Decide just how far you want to go with living our daily mission

If you want to do more – the next 2-5 years:
– Teach and preach living each of your daily missions
– Include prayers for daily missions each Sunday
– Provide a way for all to participate
– Make living daily missions part of orientation for newcomers, baptism, and reaffirmation of faith
– Help each church group to find its way to support each other’s daily missions

Some specifics for the first year:  

  1. Complete all the activities in the workbook yourself.
  2. Tell the official board about it in brief:
    God is most interested in how we live Monday to Saturday.
    Sunday, all of church life, helps us to do it better.
    Advise them that you are about to test it with a small group of five.  Promise to share your experience with that small group as it develops.
  3. Complete all the Activities in the workbook yourself.
  4. Select five members who like the idea (as in the italics above) to meet five times to try out a new direction in mission – each member living his or her daily missions in deed and word.
    — Begin with the “Activity 1,” p. 38 of the workbook.
    — Do the first four – home, work, community, wider world
    — one per week, pp. 39-42.
    — Allow 60-90 minutes  for each session; each shares his or her answers to all 8 questions:  you, as leader, lead the rest in a review of each person’s answers guided by the chart on p. 23.  End with reflection  on the five sessions and asks if they want to go on to four more sessions:  the next three – leisure, spiritual health, and church life and outreach — and identifying each other’s gifts for  mission.  If yes, do the three mission fields as above and “Activity 5,” p. 24, as the fourth session.  After the last session and if more is wanted, plan how each can continue this pattern of daily living (see Basic Tools 3 – a).  Usually the nine sessions have taught participants to begin to think this way about each part of daily life:
    –What is God already doing here?
    –How will I join what God is doing?
    –Whom will I ask to be my teammate?
  5.  Share your experiences to date with the official board.  If they are willing, they share one worksheet per meeting; two members share their responses for review and learning by all.  Allow 10 minutes for this item on the agenda.
  6.  Decide if you want to continue to develop with living our daily missions

If you want to do more for the next 2-5 years to widen awareness and practice:

  1.  Teach and preach living each of your daily missions; for ideas, see Chapter 16 of When the Members are the Missionaries and the home page for Basic Tools, Resources, Videos, and Member Mission Stories.
  2.  Pray for the members’ daily missions each Sunday – one mission field per week, then repeat.  For  more, see Chapter 16 of When the Members are the Missionaries.
  3.  Continue the pattern of reflection on living our daily missions with sessions open to all.  Two  options others have used:
    a.  Gather on Sunday morning to reflect on one of the day’s readings using the procedure outlined in Chapter 15 of When the Members are the Missionaries.  After two or three  Sundays, the group will follow this pattern easily.
    b.  Monthly meetings for “God-talk” about some current issue in any of the seven daily mission fields.  Draw on articles in newspapers and magazines.  Connect each topic with a similar biblical reference.  Make copies available a wee in advance.  Announce the session to all and encourage reading the article chosen on their own if they cannot come [Rationale:  most of us are inarticulate about how faith connects with daily living; “God-talk” gives practice in this talk.]
    c.  Help selected members to describe one of their daily missions on a Sunday morning.  If a person is reluctant to be “up front,” offer to tell the story for him or her.
  4.  Orient all seeking membership, baptism, or reaffirmation of faith to church life as sharing in God’s mission in Jesus Christ with the help of the Holy Spirit.  Use as many of the workbook’s sections as appropriate for the situation.  Other methods are found in Basic Tools and Other Resources on the web site,
  5.  Work with each church group to find ways it can include supporting the members in their daily living as one of the group’s purposes.