Bringing Jesus to the Party

Missionaries weave gospel into every facet of life in Mexico City

During their time in Spain, EFCA ReachGlobal missionaries Joshua and Naomi were forced to rethink two critical issues: How the church multiplies itself, and how the gospel gets spread.

Now that Joshua is ReachGlobal’s city team leader in Mexico City, he and his wife are employing the lessons they learned in Western Europe in a new setting. Tops on that list: Think small, and go where nonbelievers go.

The latter conviction got put to the test recently when Joshua and Naomi were invited to a posada (Christmas party) by a friend that Naomi met at their kids’ school. They ran the idea by some Christian friends — some said go, some weren’t so sure. Thinking back to the many parties they threw and attended with non-Christian friends in Spain, the choice was pretty simple.

“We want to be where non-Christians are,” Joshua says. “So we decided to go and see what happens.”

‘What would you do differently?’

Smith PartyAt the party, the women gathered around a table, the men around a bar. While the other men drank copious amounts of tequila, rum and whiskey, the conversation turned from alcohol to the apocalypse.

“Hey, do you think the world’s going to end in 2012?” one man asked Joshua.

“I don’t think so, but if the world were to end tomorrow, what would you do differently?” Joshua replied.

And so the stage was set. The man replied in a different vein, about if he were to die, what he would leave for his family.

When it was Joshua’s turn to answer, he said, ideally, he wouldn’t change anything, because he was already trying to live every part of his life in light of the gospel. That led right into his testimony of how God saved him from thoughts of suicide as a 15-year-old, his time in Spain as a missionary, and his reasons for coming to Mexico.

The result? A half-hour group conversation about the nature of the gospel. That conversation never would have happened if Joshua and Naomi had been too shy or aloof to attend a party everyone knew was going to involve a lot of alcohol.

“Now these people have a better understanding of the gospel,” Joshua says. “Now I have a relationship with a group of men I would have never met before.”

And from that, Naomi already has had one of the women at the party and a couple of her friends over to their house, and Joshua has plans to meet one of the men, who gave Joshua his business card at the end of the night.

Connecting the dots

In his job as team leader, Joshua is responsible to train, equip and teach other people in ministry. But his job also involves strategy — in the case of the posada, just being intentional about possible gospel-sharing opportunities. “I’m going to show up because these people matter, and if God wants to give me the opportunity, I’m going to be ready for it.”

It’s all part of what Joshua and Naomi think of as a progressive connect-the-dots gospel picture that they try to draw for people through their relationships with them.

“When you bring the gospel to bear in all of life, what you’re doing is creating those dots,” Joshua says. “When I talk about the relationship of the gospel to my children, to my marriage, to suffering, to crime, to politics, to authority structure — whatever it is — when we talk about how the gospel applies to those areas, we may not get the whole thing in it, but what we’re doing is giving people the dots.

“Through daily life, over time, those dots begin to take shape, and the Holy Spirit puts them together, and suddenly they have a pretty full understanding of what the gospel’s really about.”

* * * * *

CONNECT

mexico@efca.org

View “A New Day” — a short video about the ReachGlobal ministry in Mexico City.

SERVE

Bring a short-term team to Mexico City. Or contact us about serving long-term as part of the Mexico City Team.

PRAY
  • For new relationships with nonbelievers to be opened up to every member of the Mexico City team this week.
  • For the team’s boldness in sharing the gospel with nonbelievers there.
  • For the ministry of Joshua and Naomi’s small group — that it would grow to include new believers and greater outreach to the city.
GIVE

Make an online donation to the Mexico City general ministry fund.

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