Proactive and reactive intentionality

We have found it helpful to make a distinction between proactive and reactive intentionality. As a team we may have agreed a specific missional focus. But this does not mean we should not take other gospel opportunities as they arise. Our lives (work, neighbours, school and so on) will bring us into contact with people who are not part of our missional focus. Indeed, we may have opportunities with people while we are travelling with whom we cannot continue a relationship or connect with our gospel community. But we will still live our lives as witness of Jesus and still take opportunities to speak of him. This is reactive intentionality. We will reactive to opportunities whenever and wherever they arise.

But where we can be proactive we will pursue the missional focus of our gospel community. Where we can make decisions about how we use our time, where we shop, with whom we eat and so on, we will make those choices in the light of our missional focus. This is proactive intentionality. Sometimes we can be proactive about the choice of your work – we may take a job that allows us to pursue our missional focus. But other people will not be able to do this. They will spend their work days being reactive to opportunities, but then make choices about what they do in the evenings and at weekends to pursue the missional focus of their gospel community.

Identifying a missional focus is often an on-going discussion because missional opportunities change (reactive intentionality can create new opportunities).

One form proactive intentionality can take is designating a time when the gospel community will do mission together or serve their neighbourhood. One gospel community sets aside one evening a week when everyone commits to do mission together with the ethnic group they are trying to reach. They may invite people over for a film or visit people in local barber shops or cafes. Another gospel community meets each Sunday at 9am for a short time of prayer. They then go out in groups to hang out with, or serve, unbelievers. Some may go to the park to play football. Others will host a cookery session with young women. others may work in the garden of a neighbour. People are then invited back to a home for lunch together.
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3 thoughts on “Proactive and reactive intentionality

  1. Pingback: Walking the Road: 5/17/10 Edition « The Road Less Traveled

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