BLESS Your World

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In the covenant God made with Abraham, God revealed that Abraham's descendants were to be a blessing to the nations. How do we, as Christians, bless the world around us? Dave Ferguson takes a look at our call to bless others, making a case for blessing as a means of disciple-making. Dave is Lead Pastor of Community Christian Church, a multi-site congregation in the Chicago area. He is also author of numerous books, including Exponential: How You and Your Friends Can Start a Missional Church Movement

Dave cited a doctoral thesis that observed two teams of missionaries in Thailand over the course of two years. One team's main goal was to see soul's converted, the other's goal was to be a blessing to whoever they saw. The team who took a blessing strategy not only saw more social good done, they saw 50 times the conversions than those who went with the sole aim of soul-winning.

Do the results of this study surprise you? Why?
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Have you experienced this in your life or ministry, that seeking to bless provides a greater opportunity to share the gospel? Give a few examples.
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Is this type of blessing strategy congruent with the example of Jesus and the apostles in the New Testament? Explain.
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Read how Peter describe's Christ's blessing in his sermon at Solomon's Portico:

Acts 3:25-26 (ESV)

25You are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant that God made with your fathers, saying to Abraham, ‘And in your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed.’26God, having raised up his servant, sent him to you first, to bless you by turning every one of you from your wickedness.”

Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

According to this passage, what was the ultimate way Jesus blessed? How should this impact our ultimate goal in blessing others?
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Dave put forward the acrostic, BLESS, as a means of blessing the world around you:
B—Begin with prayer
What have you called me to? Who do you want me to bless?
Take a listening posture. Listen to the people and places around us. What needs are present?
Eating slows us down and shared meals build relationships. Meal times offer 21 different opportunities a week to be on mission.
Listening and eating often provide opportunities to hear how you can serve.
Your service allows you the opportunity to share your story—how God changed your life. And His story—what He's done to redeem the world.

Dave attested to how using this blessing strategy has impacted how he serves his neighbors. What would it look like for you to implement this strategy in your personal life? What neighbor(s) can you seek to bless first?
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What might it look like for your church to undertake the blessing strategy?
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Here's one example of what it might look like for your church to be a blessing to your community. In this real-life story Chris Simmons, Lead Pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church, shares how Cornerstone networks with other churches to bless and serve the physical needs of an urban community, building a foundation to bring the gospel.

All followers of Christ have been called to make disciples among all nations. These "nations" might be across the street or across the globe. Regardless, seek how you and your church might first be a blessing to the nations, in hopes that through the blessing you might make disciples, to the glory of the Father.