Reaching Your "Mission Field" | Ashley Varner
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Reaching Your “Mission Field”

Missionaries serving across the world aren’t the only ones on the mission field. God has called you to reach people right where you are. In this episode of The Graceful Life Podcast, Ashley gives some practical ways you can start reaching your mission field today!

Info from the Show

  • Practical ways you can serve your community
  • Out of the Box Ways to Serve

Links and Resources

 

Transcript

Hey there, you’re listening to The Graceful Life Podcast where women learn to balance their families, health, work, and ministry with grace all without sacrificing their own relationship with the Lord. I’m your host, Ashley Varner. I’m a Jesus girl, a wife to my high school sweetheart and business partner, and mom to the sweetest boys I’ve ever laid my eyes on. I invite you to join me each week for some real life talk, encouragement, and grace. So, grab a cup of coffee, and let’s get started.

You are listening to episode four of The Graceful Life Podcast, and today we’re going to be talking about how you can reach your mission field. Missionaries serving across the world aren’t the only ones on the mission field. God has called you to reach people right where you are, and in this episode I’m going to give you some practical ways you can start reaching your mission field today.

So, welcome back to The Graceful Life Podcast. I am your host Ashley Varner, and I’m excited to end the You Are Called series with a bang, and really just help you to determine how you can practically reach your mission field. You know, we talked about how you’re called. You are called to reach people, and you have passions in your life that can really be used for the purpose of God’s kingdom, and once you couple that with that purpose with a passion for people and learn how to love like Jesus then you are ready to start reaching your mission field. And in this episode we were going to be talking about practical ways that you can serve the people around you and people who you might not even know. So, I hope that you’ll stay tuned.

If you are thinking, “I’m not a missionary, so I can skip this entire episode.” Then I want you to think again because missionaries that are serving across the world aren’t the only ones who are on the mission field. God has called you to reach people right where you are. And so, once you know your passion and your talents, you can start putting hands to work. You can start putting action to all this talk that we’ve been having the last couple of episodes about finding out what your purpose is. Now, it’s time to kind of let the rubber hit the road and actually start living it out. So, I wanted to share a couple of practical ways that you can serve the people around you.

First, you can serve hand to hand, and what I mean by that is like face to face with people, creating relationships with people. Say, you are really into fitness and running. You could create a running club that at the end of the run you guys sit together and have a devotion time maybe that kind of corresponds to fitness and health. And that is something that can really meet a need people and really open doors for you to reach people that are just like you that enjoy the same things that you do, but maybe don’t know the love of the Lord. And you can kind of have an in there because you’re reaching something that they want to do, creating a club for running, and then they’re experiencing you as a person in God’s love through you.

Another way that you can serve is by having a type of support group, and I have a friend who is a nurse, and she created a cancer support group for women and men who needed that support because there’s really no way to know exactly what that feels like until you’re in it. And so, she had actually had cancer, and she created this group for people who really didn’t have a lot of hope in their lives at that time. And she was able to pour the hope of God into their lives.

Another way that you can practically serve as far as small groups is by mentoring young couples in your home. If you have a strong marriage and you have been seeking the Lord in your marriage then maybe mentoring young couples is something that you really want to do. Instead of just maybe talking about how unruly certain peoples kids are, maybe you can invite them over and help their parenting if they have been asking for that, and you can create a ministry in your home that reaches people. And while we’re on the topic of your home, I truly believe that hospitality is definitely becoming a lost art, and we are called to use everything that we have for God’s glory and for His purpose, and that includes your home.

So, whenever you open your home to people, whenever you’re being hospitable, and you allow people to come in. And maybe you cook for them, or you have an event at your home, and allow people to come over and maybe bring food and just gather around the table. That is a form of ministry, and I think it’s one that’s kind of dying out. And I remember a few years back, my husband and I were looking for a home, and the Lord blessed us with a home. And we were unsure if it was something that was really from Him, and we prayed about it, and we knew that it was. And so once we knew it was from Him, we took steps forward to get this home, and they we dedicated our home to the Lord. And we said, “You know what? This home is going to be used for His glory.”

We decided right then and there … It had a pretty large open area it’s like a walk out basement, it had a big open area. And we decided right then and there that any time that the church needed somewhere to meet that they could use our home. It was always going to be open, and so that area down there is always set up for guests any time. So, that the spur of the moment, I can open up my home and be a minister other people through the home that God has blessed me with. So, there’s a lot of ways that you can practically serve including with your home. Think about taking food to people and things like that, that you can really reach the people that are around you. Another way that you can practically serve is by giving. Maybe you are sorting out all your kids’ clothes and there’s tons of stuff that doesn’t fit them. Instead of selling them, or taking them to Salvation Army, you could find people who need them, specific people, and make them really nice and clean and fold them up really nice and take them to a family who needs them in a way that doesn’t feel like they’re just getting charity, but that you’re really just loving them with the heart of Jesus.

You could do emergency food boxes. My church does like holiday boxes around Thanksgiving and Christmas time. I have a friend who, she had a goal to fill up about a hundred backpacks with different school supplies for her community, and they ended up giving them all out. They had a big event, they gave out all these school supplies, which if you’ve ever gone out and bought all the school supplies you know that they can really add up. So, that was definitely a blessing to the people in her community, I know. You could minister to moms. I’ve heard of a program called Babies, Blankets, and Bibles where people in the church go out and minister to maybe single moms, and they give  their children blankets and bibles, and just really open up their hearts and meet a need right where the person is. I remember whenever I was growing up in my youth group and my youth pastor’s wife was talking to one of the kids who was kind of acting out, and she realized the Lord just spoke to her heart and said that, “This child, this teenager, was acting out so much because they were hungry.”

And I think many times we forget that hunger is right in front of us. There are people who are filled with hunger right here, right where we are. And so, she created a Wednesday night meal that people could come in and they could donate, but it wasn’t necessary, and kids could come and eat dinner after school before youth group. And that was definitely a ministry. That was definitely something that met people where they were, and she really gave of herself. She was able to start a ministry out of a need. So, really, just think outside the box and really consider what you can do to meet someone else’s need.

Another way you can serve is by teaching. You know, there are many people who probably who are in your community who speak a different language and need to learn how to speak English maybe for work, or their kids for school. You can take time to do that. You can teach cooking to people and to young moms. You can teach health to the people in your community that need it. Another thing is, you can teach a skill. I know that I have heard ministries and programs where one was called Greasy Hands For God, and they taught young men how to mechanic and really taught them a skill, so that they could use that later in their life. That’s a way to meet a need and open up the doors to reach somebody for Christ. You know, you can have food talks where you teach moms how to create healthy lunches, or you teach them how to prepare easily, you know, meals that are simple and healthy. You could take to people about creating a budget. So, if you set up a time for people to come in, and you might want to do it one on one, or you might want to teach a class, or something like that, but you meet with someone and just help them kind of figure out their budget.

A lot of times, we think that things that come really naturally to us come naturally to everybody, but that is definitely not the case. So, if there’s something that you excel at, maybe that’s budgeting, or maybe that’s cooking. Whatever it is, there are people who that doesn’t come naturally to them, and it doesn’t come easy to them. And so, you can use the strengths that you have that you think they come easy to everybody, and you just kind of take them for granted, really, and you can use them to minister to people. Talking about supporting a need, you know, there are times during funerals. I know there is a funeral ministry at our church where they go and comfort the people who have lost a loved one, or they bring food, or they help them kind of come to grips with their grief and just help them through that process. If you aren’t someone who has a lot of time that maybe you have money that you can give, there are students who are going maybe to bible school, or to school in general that need assistance. You could offer students scholarships, you could do lawn care for senior, you could do child care after school.

There’s just so many different things where you can put your to work, and really put your faith in action because James says that, “Faith without works is dead.” And so, if we are saying that we love the Lord, and we’re serious about serving him, than we have to put deeds into the mix. We have to be serving because that’s really how we show the love of Christ in this time, and in the relationships that we have, right now. So, there are some out of the box ways that you can serve that don’t have to do with the people right around you where you can minister to people you might never meet, and one of the ways to do that is online. So, we live in the age of technology where you could reach people halfway across the world, and sometimes we can kind of shy away from that because we don’t know if it’s safe. And of course, take safeguards and those kind of things, but really be intentional with your use of technology, with your use of social media.

Social media can be something that opens doors for you to reach people that maybe had been part of your life growing up, and now they’re not. You never know whenever you plant a seed, maybe by just sharing something that the Lord has done in your life on social media, or even, to be honest, before we even kind of push the positive we need to make sure that we’re not pushing the negative. And what I mean by that is, you have friends that are like this where you see their posts on social media, and they’re always negative, or they’re always like, “Woe is me.” And if you have been posting like that, then maybe consider deleting some of that stuff and changing your attitude on social media because we show the world who we are, and most of the time, now, these relationships are being … People are seeing their first impression of us on social media, and if you are constantly complaining, or just letting out your frustrations on social media, then that’s what they’re going to see and that’s what they’re going to kind of relate with Christ, and we don’t want that. We want to be intentional with our social media and use it for God’s glory. There is a way to do that. You can be intentional with social media.

If you’re church is doing something and you share it, and you just share about your church family, that’s one way to let people know that you have a church home that is filled with love and grace. And it’s just important that we choose to be intentional about what we put out there. So, with your social media consider the pictures that you’re posting, or the jokes that you’re sharing on there. Make sure that you are really just showing Christ in the whole thing. I’m not saying that you have to post a Bible verse five times a day, or anything like that, but just show the love of Jesus through your social media.

And another out of the box way to serve is that if you have a particular passion, you can start an online blog and have an online presence where you can attract people who are just like you to your blog and minister to people through there just like this podcast, just like my blog.  I have ministered to people through my blog and through the devotions that I put on there, and the programs that I have. And even the regular blog posts that I post I’m able to reach people that I would never know otherwise. If you’re not part of the Girl Of Grace group, you can go and sign up, or just join for free, but there I’m able to minister to people that I don’t even know, that I will probably never know, but I’m able to pour into their lives, pray for them on a regular basis, and really reach people through technology, through the blog.

And so, if you have a particular passion maybe it’s fashion, or cooking, or money, or health, or photography, or whatever it is consider maybe crating an online presence for yourself in that passion and using it to glorify the Lord. There are so many different ways and practical ways that you can reach people for Christ, and if you ask the Lord, He’ll be faithful to show you what you can do to reach people for him. He wants you to step into your purpose, His purpose for your life. So, whenever you are diligent about seeking Him and saying, “God, I want to live out your purpose. Show me where I can do that right now.” Maybe you want to be a missionary across the world, but you’re too young before you can go over there, or you don’t have enough money yet, or whatever it is. You don’t have to wait until you do that. You can minister right where you are. God has given you all the resources that you need, right now, to do what He’s called you to do right now.

And so, as you’re listening to this, the day that you’re listening to this, there are things that you can do today that can make a difference for the kingdom of God. So, I hope that that encouraged you today, and I hope that you enjoyed this episode. If you are curious about what you can do, I would love to hear if you had an idea today of a way that you can reach mission field. Go ahead and share it with me. Let me know how you’re feeling, and what you’re thinking about all this. Do you feel that purpose kind of rising up within you and that passion for people? Because once you do that’s when we can live most like Christ. I will see you next time.

Thanks for listening today. I hope you enjoyed this episode. If you did, head over to iTunes and leave a review because every writing and review that listeners like you leave on iTunes helps other women find this podcast, and discover how they can live their lives with grace. Don’t forget to subscribe while you’re there. If you have a question or comment about this episode, then go ahead and send me an email to [email protected] or you can connect with me over on Facebook, or Instagram. I’d love to hear from you. Until then, I’ll see you next week.

 

Thanks for joining me!

Thanks so much for joining me! I’m so excited to get to know you through your comments and I hope you’ll join the conversation in the Girl of Grace Group!

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If you have a question, comment or a suggestion about today’s episode, or the podcast in general, send an email to ashley(at)ashleyvarner(dot)com or connect with me over on Facebook   or Instagram!

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