Personalize the Mission #1

The Mission Church of Lexington recently hosted a leadership development training course for our Ministerial Staff and our Mission Leadership Team. During this equipping session we had Rob Patterson as our special guest presenter. Rob serves as the Evangelism Team Leader for Kentucky Baptist Convention. Rob is a longtime personal and professional friend of mine plus a longtime partner with The Mission Church of Lexington. He shared with us a teaching module called “Personalize the Mission”. During this informative course we learned effective ways of “Mobilizing Every Member as a Witness in Their Circles of Influence”. I am going to use this blog to summarize and elaborate on much of the information provided during this training. I want to make sure to provide the appropriate credit to the KBC evangelism team for most of the content provided in this article. I will however be including my own adjustments, additions, personal comments, and points of application along the way. I trust you will find this information as valuable and beneficial as I did!

C.T. Studd “The light that shines the farthest shines the brightest at home.”


It is important to personalize our mission because God has providentially placed people in our lives that need to hear the Gospel. God’s sovereignty is always strategic. These are relationships that already exist in your life. Your family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers.

Oscar Thompson believed that the most important word in the English language is the word “relationship”. Thompson reached this conclusion by observing the outward expansion the Gospel message traveled in the book of Acts in the Bible. The progression went from Jerusalem, to Judea, to Samaria, and then the uttermost parts of the earth. In Thompson’s view, the Gospel continues to move outward in each Christian’s life, beginning with those in close in relationship and then extending out to acquaintances and then even to strangers.

Acts 1:8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be [a]witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”


We must see every person that we encounter as a potential divine encounter which in a potential opportunity to share the saving message of Jesus Christ. Bill Bright lived with a life motto that if God gave him more than 10 minutes with a person, he felt that was a sign from God that he should try to share the Gospel with that person.

Matthew 28:18-20 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go [a]therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” [b]Amen.


Acts 17:16-17 Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him when he saw that the city was [a]given over to idols. 17 Therefore he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and with the Gentile worshipers, and in the marketplace daily with those who happened to be there.


1 Corinthians 3:5-6 Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one? I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase.


If you do not leverage the providential Gospel opportunities within your relationships, who will? The greatest act of love and kindness is to tell the people we know and care about that there is a Heaven, there is a Hell, and there is a hurry. The Bible provides for us a pattern of Gospel sharing within a Christian’s circles of influence.


John 1:37-46 The two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. 38 Then Jesus turned, and seeing them following, said to them, “What do you seek?” They said to Him, “Rabbi” (which is to say, when translated, Teacher), “where are You staying?” 39 He said to them, “Come and see.” They came and saw where He was staying, and remained with Him that day (now it was about the tenth hour). 40 One of the two who heard John speak, and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. 41 He first found his own brother Simon, and said to him, “We have found the [a]Messiah” (which is translated, the Christ). 42 And he brought him to Jesus. Now when Jesus looked at him, He said, “You are Simon the son of [b]Jonah. You shall be called Cephas” (which is translated, [c]A Stone). 43 The following day Jesus wanted to go to Galilee, and He found Philip and said to him, “Follow Me.” 44 Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. 45 Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets, wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” 46 And Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.”


John 4:39-42 And many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, “He told me all that I ever did.” 40 So when the Samaritans had come to Him, they urged Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days. 41 And many more believed because of His own word. 42 Then they said to the woman, “Now we believe, not because of what you said, for we ourselves have heard Him and we know that this is indeed [a]the Christ, the Savior of the world.”


Acts 16:33-34 And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes. And immediately he and all his family were baptized. 34 Now when he had brought them into his house, he set food before them; and he rejoiced, having believed in God with all his household.


When we share the Gospel within the circles of our relational influences it allows them the opportunity to understand the difference that faith in Christ has made in our life. They should see the Gospel so that we can speak the Gospel. This is why it is so important for the audio and the visual of our life to match!


Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.


As we process and pray through the calling to personalize our missional efforts to reach people with whom we are in friendship and relationship with, it should be a continual reminder for us to follow Christ and seek to invite others to follow Christ with us. The Christian life can be distilled down into two directives… Jesus says to first come to me and then He says go for me. We come to Jesus for salvation and sanctification and then we go for Him to serve and to share.


Mark 1:17 Then Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.”


Statistics show that people often welcome faith conversations from those who are close to them. When we love and serve people well, we “earn the right to be heard”. Be encouraged: 8 of 10 unchurched people indicate that they would come to church if they were personally invited! Additionally, 75-90% of people who come to faith in Christ do so through a faith witness of a family member or a friend.


God has given each of us, on average, anywhere from 8 to 15 people who He has supernaturally and strategically placed in our relational worlds… this is the world He wants to use each of us to change, our individual world.


Just imagine if each of us took a focused responsibility to reach our circle of relational influence. What difference would it make? How would the evangelistic culture of The Mission Church of Lexington be enhanced? How many more Believer’s Baptism would we be able to celebrate? How many more new “family” members would be enjoyed? How would our neighborhoods, community, and city be impacted? How would our prayer life and worship life be energized? It’s just amazing to think about!!!


The Great Commission demands that we connect with people for the purpose of intentionally building relationships so that we can share the greatest Good News ever!


Mark 16:15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.


Written by W. Oscar Thompson, and later revised and updated by Claude V. King, “Concentric Circles of Concern” is an evangelistic strategy and plan that focuses specifically on the relationships that God has sovereignly and providentially placed in our lives, starting with those closest to us and moving outward within concentric circles. This model helps move from a general plan to a specific plan in personal evangelism.


If you would like to understand this concept more fully, please make sure you read the next 3 installments of this blog post, Personalize the Mission.


If this blog post has grabbed your curiosity and you would like to know more please pursue any/all of the below options:

1-              Contact me at

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