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Don’t fall in here with me…

This is the second post in a series aimed at helping pastors and seminary students live a Great Commission lifestyle.  In my first post I mentioned 7 Ways To Live On Mission.  In this post I hope to save you some pain. The following pitfalls come from my personal attempt to live on mission (feel free to cringe).

5 Pitfalls to Avoid

  • The Coffee Shop
    • I feel like most people hear missional living and think coffee shop.  Maybe I’m weird but I’ve found them to be pretty unhelpful (except for drinking coffee).  Most people in coffee shops have headphones in or are working on laptops (as I’m currently doing actually). You don’t want to be the annoying guy trying to have a spiritual conversation with the person working on email. And you may end up sharing the gospel with the five other church planters that are using the free Wi-Fi.
  • The Gym
    • When I’ve tried to build relationships with people at the gym it’s failed.  I’ve got four reasons:  1.  I’m not consistent in my gym attendance.  2.  Other people aren’t consistent in their gym attendance.  3. The people who are consistent aren’t there to talk 4.  Again with the headphones.
  • The Lone Ranger Approach
    • If you invite non-Christians to an event make sure you’ve got a couple believers committed to be there.  If you showed up to a Christmas party and were the only one there, you’d probably feel weird too (spoken from personal experience…).  This is a great way to mobilize your small group to live on mission.
  • The Activity-Less Hangout 
    • When a non-believer accepts your invitation to hang out it’s an opportunity to transition from acquaintance to friend.   But you don’t know each other that well so it’s helpful to center your time on an activity.  Activities build commonality and create opportunities to develop rapport.  I’ve found bowling and “Corn-Hole” (“Bags” for you Mid-Westerners) to be helpful.
  • Cheap Bibles
    • So this is a personal confession.  I have a nice Bible.  It’s imitation leather and has a little ribbon for me to mark my place.  But when I bought Bibles to give to non-Christians I bought the cheapest ones I could find.   Do you see a problem here?  People recognize quality and are more likely to read something that they can tell is nice.

So there you go; pitfalls for pastors and seminary students to avoid in pursuing a Great Commission lifestyle.  You’re going to want to avoid the three person Christmas party…trust me.


Josh Miller (@joshmiller0604) is a Church Planting Catalyst with Summit Network and a Church Planting Pastor at The Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, NC.