missional in the thick of it || part one

Making Disciples.
Church planting. 
Prayer and Worship. 
Core Team. 
Apostles and Prophets. 
Mission and Vision. 

This is what we talk about in my home. Sure, we talk about blogs and small business. We talk about Montessori and pinterest and scripture prints. But we talk a LOT about church planting being that my husband is a church planter. We've been a part of several church plants over the past eight years, but in June things got really real when we moved to downtown Charleston, SC to plant a church of our very own. Just us and our sweet four kiddos, a lot of grace and some hopeful hearts. 

Over the past few months, a small core team has come around us to start the church with us and the Lord is absolutely moving and working and growing us. We are prayerfully moving towards gathering outside of our home in January (a real live church service!) and we are really excited about the future of Gospel Community Charleston. But for all the talking, praying, planning, and church planting we're doing - it is one of the least things I blog or talk about online. It is a tender spot  for me as we are still doing so much growing and learning, but I want to begin to share some bits of our story and what the Lord is teaching me as we move forward. 

Thus, this is the first post in a series I'll be doing concerning being missional in the thick of it. These posts are for all women - church planters or church newbies, mamas or single ladies, theology scholars who could put me to shame or women still fresh in their faith. I'll speak a good deal concerning how I'm learning to be on mission in my neighborhood in the thick of motherhood and online business, but hopefully it will be applicable for wherever you're on mission and whatever you're in the thick of. Let's dig in! 

The term missional is sure thrown around a lot these days, but a mission is literally defined as any important task or duty that is assigned, allotted, or self-imposed. For those of us who are in a relationship with Christ, our important task or duty is found in Matthew 28:11 where Jesus tells his followers to go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them and teaching them to obey His commandments. Without over simplifying it, that is namely what our church is concerned with. We're not trying to put on the most fresh service in Charleston, we're not trying to provide a new or exciting place for people who are already believers (though they're welcome!), and we're definitely not trying to clean people up or get them on the right path. We're concerned with blessing our neighborhood, loving them well, and allowing the Lord to use us to make disciples who make disciples. 

It sounds simple, but it can't be that simple, can it? 
I think, yes. It can be. Especially when we take it piece by piece and day by day. 
For us, the very first thing to do is begin with prayer. 
Being on mission, making disciples, and especially church planting has to begin with prayer and I am finding day in and day out, we cannot do anything with out a very real and intimate connection to the Lord through prayer. 

It can absolutely be overwhelming to have four kids and two online businesses and just get overwhelmed in the day to day of our lives, never taking the first step to make disciples outside of our home because we are convinced it will be too much. Beginning with prayer, though, aligns everything because it puts our desires and hopes and fears at the feet of Jesus and gives Him the power and glory in our mission. Here are just a few examples of how we can pray missionally, in the thick of it:

- Pray that God would genuinely grow a deep love in your heart for your neighbors
- Pray that the Holy Spirit would go before you and prepare a place for you. (Isaiah 52:11) 
- We can pray for fellow workers in the harvest, friends to be on mission with. 
- We can pray with our children for their friends, classmates, and teachers. 
- Pray that the Lord would turn your excuse into your encouragement. For example, our small business never feels like a distraction from our church because it allows us to connect with so many other entrepreneurs and it also becomes an easy connection point as we build relationships. 
- I find so much encouragement prayer walking in our neighborhood. As I walk or run, I'll just lift up the people in the homes around me. I'll pray for the future occasionally and just dream and envision what it will look as time passes and we begin to see the Lord using our church to bless the city. 

Obviously, there is so much more than prayer to being on mission, but I can't think of a better place to start. Day after day after day, it's our joy to get to seek our Father and talk to Him about this huge task of making disciples that He's entrusted us with. 
Begin with prayer. So simple & so huge all at once. 

So, I'd love to hear from you! 
Where are you at, on mission - in the thick of it? 
What are your biggest prayer requests right now? 
Let's share in the comments and take a moment to lift one another up. 
It's gonna be great, right?