REVIEW: Discover Your Mission Now!
Do you merely want to see God at work, or do you want to be a part of what He is doing?
The distinction may be subtle, but you want the latter, right? No young boy dreams of growing up to be fan of professional football; he wants to play. No preschool girl wants to be a lady-in-waiting; she wants to be the princess.
Good news. Dave Ferguson begins his FREE ebook Discover Your Mission Now! with this hope: “You were born with a God-given mission for your life. . . . It is knowing and living out your God-given mission that brings purpose, meaning and a fulfilling way to make a difference with your days.”
Of course, as we walk with God as a disciple of Jesus, we learn that our mission is not really about us. We are about God’s mission. The joy and satisfaction come because we get to be a part of the Savior’s work to reach the world, for the sake of His Kingdom.
Blessing Others Is Simple
The premise that Ferguson uses is the acronym BLESS. I showed a video of him explaining this in 6 Ways to Be Missional in 2013. For review, BLESS stands for:
- Begin with prayer
- Listen to people
- Eat with people
- Serve those people
- Story — at the right time, share the story of what Jesus has done for you
The beauty of this tool is its simplicity. Ferguson says that we just need to do one of these things each day. And as you live in community with others (such as in your church small groups), you ask each other this question, “Who did you bless this week?”
The first one (“Begin with prayer”) is especially easy. You can start every day asking God to use you to bless someone. Christians often call this a “Divine Appointment.” Ask God, “Who is it that you are going to bring into my life today?” Praying this each day isn’t a magic formula; it is about depending on God. Also, it make our hearts and minds more attentive to what God is doing.
Warning — being on God’s mission will cost you, especially your time. Listening, eating, serving will often seem like interruptions. However, when you feel like your agenda is being interrupted, that is a great reminder to ask yourself whose mission you are really on. Will you sacrifice you self-satisfying to-do list for the sake of what God might be doing?
Trust me — when I say “you,” I’m incriminating myself, too.
Besides in personal relationships, you can also “listen to places,” as Ferguson points out in chapter 3. He gives a helpful suggestion for learning how to engage your city:
- Grab a local newspaper and read the entire thing
- Use a highlighter to mark every need (ex: schools, senior citizens, beautification, etc)
- Ask yourself, “Which of these needs can we meet? Which needs are we particularly passionate about?”
- Take steps to get involved
And to take this idea to another level, read Alex Early’s 19 questions in Study Your City.
If I have any hesitations about this book, it is about some of the theology. In particular, there seems to be a relatively low view of Jesus.
For example, in chapter 2, Ferguson describes that blessing others is a part of God’s way. And I agree with his statement that, “Every single blessing you’ve ever received was given to you so that you would in turn be a blessing to others. Yes, you were blessed to be a blessing!”
But, when he talks about Jesus coming after Abraham, following his “blessed to be a blessing” strategy, I wonder. If anything, Abraham is following after Jesus! And who exactly was Jesus blessed by?
And in the chapter 3 (“Listen”), Ferguson tries to make the case that Jesus didn’t know that the blind man wanted to be healed (Luke 18). “Jesus was a person who didn’t assume he knew what people needed. So he asked questions. Jesus listened.”
To claim that Jesus didn’t know what the man needed is a quite a stretch of what this passage says. I don’t like the logic of, “We don’t know, so we should ask and not assume. See — Jesus asked, so He must not have known.”
Despite these concerns, I recommend you get this FREE BOOK (available as ePub, on Kindle, or a pdf) Discover Your Mission Now! Living by these principles will be a blessing to you, and to those that God has put around you.