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Octagon - the mission Lifeshape

The second book of the year that we are encouraging people to read is "Living a Life with a Mission".  It uses the octagon (eight sided shaped) to help us remember eight aspects of the process of mission.  Here is an excerpt from the book (pp12-14)that provides a summary.  I encourage you to get a copy for more details (from the church or the 3dm website as a pdf).

Jesus’ Relationship Strategy 
You can study up on all the objections people have to Christianity and  how to answer them. You can be ready with points, one, two, and three. You can  be persistent because you believe a person needs to know Jesus and pull out all  the stops, using every evangelism strategy you can find. But in the end, no  amount of coercion on your part can make someone become a Christian. You  can‘t make someone become a Person of Peace. That‘s the Holy Spirit‘s job. Your  job is to have your spiritual eyes open so that when God puts a Person of Peace  in your path, you recognize him or her. As we look for the Person of Peace in our  lives, we keep in mind five things that we learn from Jesus himself:

Jesus precedes sending out the disciples in Luke 10 with an exhortation that there  is a specific time when the harvest is ripe. You can‘t harvest at planting time or  during the growing season. 

Jesus always sent his disciples ahead of him in pairs. Who is on your team? Who  can come alongside you as you answer this call? 

Jesus knew he could not be everywhere at once, and neither could his disciples.  He pointed his disciples to a target, the Person of Peace, the person who was  receptive. 

The disciples‘ task is to share the good news of the kingdom. 

And Jesus recognized he was sending the disciples out as sheep among wolves.  As we go out into the world looking for Person of Peace, expect trouble

The Key: Person of Peace
The Person of Peace is the first of eight Ps in the Octagon. All the “P”  words help us understand the principles at work when we have our eyes open  for opportunity to share the kingdom news. The Person of Peace unlocks the  process, and the other seven P's help us understand the situations in which we  might find a Person of Peace and how to respond to those situations. But it‘s not  a sequential, one-two-three kind of process. We‘ll look at each of the eight Ps  individually, but you‘ll see that they naturally occur in various combinations.  Where there‘s one P, there are always more.
Perceptions can be false and misleading. We must constantly  be in contact with the Holy Spirit as we try to discern a Person of Peace. Open  yourself up to observation, to become increasingly aware of the times the Holy  Spirit leads you to respond.

Presence evangelism happens when you are simply present in a  situation with an individual or group. Being present always provides  opportunities to model Jesus, acting as he would act, speaking as he would  speak.

Proclamation is not just for preachers and writers. You  don‘t have to stand on a street corner or in front of a large crowd. To ?proclaim?  means to give outward indication of something—to show others the kingdom  life openly and publicly.

Passing Relationships.
We have passing relationships with people we  meet only once or twice. The young man who bags your groceries. The mother  with three restless children in line at the drug store. Someone who changes seats  and ends up next to you on the airplane. Even if you recognize a Person of Peace  at these moments, most likely you are not going to lead the person into a  personal relationship with Christ. But God may use you to move the person  closer to that point.

Permanent Relationships.
You have permanent relationships with your  family and close friends. If a passing relationship is like a sprint, a permanent  relationship is a marathon. We often have the hardest time sharing the gospel  with those closest to us. Pray, wait, and watch. God is never in a hurry, and he is  never late.

Preparation is similar to cultivating soil and planting seed in  advance of the harvest. Your words will be one turn of a person‘s soil. Someone  else comes along and, sensing an opportunity with a Person of Peace, turns the  soil once again.

Jesus often used the power of God in miracles to reveal the Person of  Peace. Praying for the sick and seeing a miraculous healing may reveal a Person  of Peace.
An Empowered Church
It‘s one thing to say this is the model of evangelism that Jesus taught the  Twelve and the Seventy-Two. It‘s another to say it became the sustainable model  for evangelism in the early church. I believe it is. In empowering the church, the  Holy Spirit empowered them to be able to do something they had learned from  Jesus. In the chapters that follow, we‘re going to look at Jesus‘ relational strategy for evangelism, one piece at a time. 

David Wanstall, 10/09/2009