Rob Wegner states that a missionary is an ordinary person who’s equipped to make new disciples in a new context, and that mission isn’t first an activity, it’s an identity. How does that apply to Lydia?
She has three circles. The first circle is the (Gentile) God-fearing circle. The second is the weaving/dying circle. The third circle is her household.
Each of us has a few circles. Which one are we most passionate about? If, for example, you were totally into putting lipstick on pigs and you were friends with a bunch of others about putting lipstick on pigs, then there is your circle.
Lydia’s household circle followed her. Much of that was likely cultural and authority (not that it diminishes anyone’s salvation). Lydia’s God-fearing circle became a focal point, it seems, as it later has become a believers’ hub.
That leaves the last circle…the weaver/dying circle. We don’t know what, if anything, she did to evangelize the members of this circle. As her position remained (owning a household as a woman), she likely continued her trade.
She was a missionary to the weaver/dying circle. We all have a missionary circle. We must figure out what ours is. It’s easy to default to home or church, but those are not, by normal definition, missionary circles.
A family can be a missionary circle, especially if you are the only believer, or if there was a walkout from the faith. Church shouldn’t be a missionary circle, yet often the people who need the grace and love and forgiveness of Jesus the most are in the church.
Being a missionary is not optional. God is missional. Being a child of God means being missional, too. The more we reflect and model Jesus (the missional model), the more being on God’s mission means being a missionary.
The pressure is on! However, you cannot be a successful missionary to everyone, nor every circle. You are not God. Which life circle is God calling you to be a missionary to?
1) If circles are better than rows (OOO>|||) what does this tell you about your life circles?
2) Why is having a missionary focus (like a circle) helpful to being a missionary?
3) Why do you think you are not a missionary?
Jesus, you came to earth on a mission to reconcile Creation to you. Help us see our mission as the extension and continuation of yours. The same mission that brought us into your loving embrace. Amen.