Welcome to the PMF Workshop for January, 2022. I’m your host, T. M. Moore. Each month we provide teaching, encouragement, activities, and resources to help you in working your Personal Mission Field, so that you can become more consistent and effective in realizing the presence, promise, and power of God’s Kingdom in your daily life.
This month’s Workshop is entitled, “Let’s Review: Goals.” Our text is 2 Corinthians 10.13-18:
We, however, will not boast beyond measure, but within the limits of the sphere which God appointed us—a sphere which especially includes you. For we are not overextending ourselves (as though our authority did not extend to you), for it was to you that we came with the gospel of Christ; not boasting of things beyond measure, that is, in other men’s labors, but having hope, thatas your faith is increased, we shall be greatly enlarged by you in our sphere, to preach the gospel in the regions beyond you, andnot to boast in another man’s sphere of accomplishment. But “he who glories, let him glory in the LORD.” For not he who commends himself is approved, but whom the Lord commends.
Aiming at nothing?
An old time-management adage insists that if you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time. This is just another way of reminding us that having goals can help our lives have meaning, purpose, and a sense of significance. Goals provide direction and mark progress. They generate energy and focus our exertions. And when we achieve a goal, we realize a sense of satisfaction and achievement.
But we need to make sure that the goals we set are relevant to the calling God has appointed for us. Every believer in Jesus Christ has been called to the Kingdom and glory of God (1 Thess. 2.12). Seeking the Kingdom of God and living for His glory are thus the overarching and defining objectives for everything else we do. We must have no goals in life that do not move us toward these objectives.
But every believer has also been sent by God into a Personal Mission Field, that sphere of influence consisting of places, people, and tasks within which God flows His grace through us to bring the Presence of Jesus into our world. Paul said that God has appointed this sphere for us (v. 13), and it is in this sphere, this Personal Mission Field, that we have been sent like Jesus to bring near the Kingdom of God and make disciples (Jn. 20.21; Matt. 28.18-20).
We are continuously present in our Personal Mission Field, and therefore we must always be ready to work at advancing the rule of King Jesus in everything we do. We can ill afford to aim at nothing as we take up this calling each day. If you aim at nothing in your garden, it will overgrow with weeds. If you aim at nothing in your Personal Mission Field, nothing of any lasting value is what you’ll achieve.
The apostle Paul outlines four goals to aim at in all our work in our Personal Mission Field. Taken together, these goals define the parameters of our work and the Kingdom contours we seek for our sphere of influence.
The first goal is that we should work to increase boasting in the Lord, so that mention and celebration of the Lord are characteristic features of the environment in which we live and move and have our being (v. 17). Boasting in the Lord can take many forms, such as, giving thanks, sharing part of your testimony or something of what God is teaching you, explaining the Gospel, talking about the work the Lord is doing through your church or around the world, remarking the work of God in the life of another person. All such boasting puts the focus on Jesus and is thus more likely to create interest in and even an openness to Him. As often as we have opportunity, we should boast in the Lord, for in doing so we fulfill an important part of our witness for Him (Acts 1.8).
Second, we should work consistently to make our Personal Mission Field a zone of mutual edification and encouragement (v. 15). We are not, in our Personal Mission Field, doom-and-gloom evangelists thumping the Bible at everyone we meet. We need to get to know people and to take an interest in what interests them. We should ask questions, listen more than we talk, and seek opportunities for affirming and encouraging others. By doing so, not only will others find our presence agreeable and welcome, but we’ll learn and grow by what they share with us about themselves.
Third, we’ll want to take Christ to the limits of our Personal Mission Field (v. 14). We want everyone with whom we have contact to have the opportunity to see Jesus or hear about Him. So we’ll need to make sure that our conversations and manners embody the ways of Jesus. And we’ll have to practice various ways of starting or turning conversations toward Him. There are many other ways to share Christ with people, and we’ll want to explore some of those for our own work.
Finally, we should seek always to expand the reach of our Personal Mission Field (v. 16). Try to meet new people. Learn the names of those you see over and over, and use their names as you can. Consider new places to go where you might meet new people. Pay attention to folks the Lord sends into your Personal Mission Field from time to time. Do not take anyone for granted.
In working your Personal Mission Field you’ll want to aim at specific activities in line with the goals Paul outlined in our text. Keep these goals in mind and they will help you each day to think, plan, and work more effectively in your calling to the Kingdom and glory of God.
Here are some activities you can practice to help you aim at specific objectives in working your Personal Mission Field.
- First – and we remind you of this every month – make sure you have mapped out your Personal Mission Field. Keep this map handy so that you can review it, use it for prayer and planning, and add new people to it as the Lord leads.
- Review the goals God has set for your Personal Mission Field at least weekly. The Lord’s Day is a good time to review these four goals and to consider what you have been able to do toward achieving them during the previous week, and what you might do throughout the week to come.
- Concentrate on working toward one goal for an entire week. Try out new ways of pursuing that goal. Ask others to pray for you as you seek to improve in this area. Make this goal a matter of daily and continuous prayer.
- Find one activity you can do for every person in your Personal Mission Field during the week to come. Maybe that will be something as simple as praying for them, or making sure to use their name as you speak to them. Doing something for everyone will help to keep them all in focus and will sharpen your skills in the particular task you take for yourself.
- Set one reachable goal for each of the four goal areas discussed in this workshop. Work those goals day by day for a week. On the Lord’s Day, spend time in prayer, thanking and praising Him for the ways He worked in and through you during the previous week.
Go to the rotator on our website, www.ailbe.org, and order your free copies of our Personal Mission Field bundle, The Gospel of the Kingdom and Joy to Your World! Here are two proven tools for improving your work in your Personal Mission Field.
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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.