When you think of "mission," do you envision taking God's Word to people in remote places, like Africa or Asia? Do you imagine living a Spartan lifestyle, stripped of all the comforts of home? Do you think of abandoning friends, family, a successful career—giving up everything?
Most of us will never experience this type of mission, but that doesn't mean we don't have one. Our mission field begins where we live—in our families, on the job, with our neighbors, and, yes, even in our church.
Over the past year, our church, Saddleback, saw an incredible outpouring of God's Spirit. Thousands of people were connected under the care of a shepherd. More than 400 small groups were launched in a 13-week period. Yet 50 percent of our church family still needs the care of a shepherd.
Maybe your church needs shepherds, too. God may be calling you to care for a circle of friends and help them fulfill God's dream for their lives. When you touch the lives of others through an authentic relationship, you're fulfilling Christ's dream: that a shepherd would care for each of his sheep.
God's not asking you to go to China for the rest of your life; he's asking you to shepherd a group of friends for a few weeks. Small group leaders are people like you—burdened by busyness, unschooled in theology and the Bible, uncomfortable in the spotlight, and fearful of leading. You don't have to be a spiritual giant, a Bible scholar, or even a great orator. All you need is a willing heart.
Scripture teaches that the Father looks across the earth and seeks those whose hearts are fully his. Ultimately, ordinary people are used by an extraordinary God to make difference for his purpose. ...