Local Immersion – Creating a Lifestyle of Mission
In my work, I’ve observed this local mission effort as something I call a “Local Immersion.” Since the Immersion’s aim is to immerse people in their own context with an awakened sense of sharing their faith, the end goal is for a lifestyle of mission to begin to emerge. When you’re repeatedly challenged to weave the Gospel into your daily conversations over the course of several consecutive weeks (as a group), it can be a very powerful practicum for anyone desiring to grow as one who proclaims the Gospel.
To do a “Local Immersion,” you need to have four main things:
- A specific vehicle (teaching series, thought provoking t-shirts, compelling stories, service projects, a cause-based campaign, etc.) that challenges people to share their faith.
- Several weeks/months committed to an intensified effort.
- Training tools, teaching and coaching to refine the participants’ ability to share.
- People who love each other enough to hold one another accountable to the challenge and grow as a group.
This effort could happen immediately after a traditional mission trip, or during a different season of the same year. Some participants may need more practical tools and resources to make it happen. Others may need more on the job training – where you spend more time intentionally ministering together. Whatever you do, repetition for several weeks can definitely help cement a habit (experts say a minimum 21 days).
Here are three benefits of a Local Immersion:
Benefit #1: Mission efforts are more easily applied and repeated because they were designed and practiced in their own context.
Benefit #2: It’s local focus makes it a more sustainable mission effort because discipling relationships can continue to develop after the 4-6 week focus.
Benefit #3: The group context of accountability/encouragement still exists but there is time for individual and group practical application in between weekly meetings.
Traditional, cross-cultural, overseas mission efforts have greatly built up the Global Body of Christ in monumental ways and are still very much necessary in the global effort to bring the Gospel to unengaged people groups. But as we learn to grow as missionaries in our local context, I believe we need to borrow the power of intensified, focused effort to create habits of mission where there are currently little to no habits at all. This is critical to becoming a fruitful disciple of Jesus who fully embraces the joy of letting the Gospel affect every area of your life. Here is my prayer for us:
“Lord, help us embrace your calling to live as missionaries in the everyday rhythms of life. Help us stay alert to the ways You, Holy Spirit, are already working in people and situations before us so we might joyfully proclaim Your goodness, Your Truth and Your Gospel here on the earth.”
To see one example of a Local Immersion, check out Walking Proclamation’s Local Immersion on my website at www.walkingproclamation.com.
Patrick Lowndes is an adopted son of God, husband and father of two daughters. As an evangelist and entrepreneur at heart, Patrick is the Founder and Lead Mobilizer of Walking Proclamation, a missional t-shirt company that seeks to provoke curiosity that starts conversations about God and His Gospel. Patrick is a part of a church plant in south Seattle and seeks to equip the believers in the Kingdom through entrepreneurial and evangelistic gifts.