Perhaps the most dangerous idea we have ever embraced as a Western culture is the separation between the physical and spiritual . One of the consequences of that separation has been the difficulty of seeing God at work, entering into our everyday moments so that we can journey with him on mission. For too many people, God is experienced only in that hour or two designated as religion when people “go to church.”
While God is certainly present with us in our church gatherings, God is also present with us in the rest of our life. Recognizing God’s presence and voice is always where we join him on mission. For we cannot know how to journey on mission with God unless we can see God at work and hear his voice (in no particular order).
The “learning circle”  which I introduced to the Columbia Church of Christ a couple weeks ago during the Sunday message is designed to help us recognize God’s presence and voice so that we can join God on his missional journey. We all have intuitions questions about events taking place, experiences we encounter, and so forth. For example, we see a friend and get the feeling that something is bothering him or her. Or someone invites us to join them on a church retreat or mission trip.
Could it just be that God is present in these moments and is trying to speak to us? It certainly seems possible. And of course, maybe not. But how will we know unless we take the time to ask. Think of our lives in as a linear journey and each moment of intuition and question as our “opportunity to learn.” The opportunity to learn becomes a moment for the linear course of our life to change direction and journey where God is seeking to take us, should we discover that God is at work in these moments.
We discover whether God is at work in such moments when we enter the learning circle on the right as a prayerful listener. It is here where we begin observing, reflecting, and discussing what is happening what God might be saying and wanting to do with us. This is where I believe where the blessing of scripture and Christian community is so helpful. As I often am reminded, self-perception can easily become self-deception. Both scripture and our fellow Spirit-indwelled followers of Jesus help us avoid deceiving ourselves.
As we begin understanding what God is saying and wanting to do, we move to the left side of the circle where we commit ourselves to obeying God. Now that we understand what God is saying and what he wants to do with us, we plan our response, perhaps asking someone to hold us accountable, and then respond in obedience as God wants.
This is a very practical way for discovering how God is at work in our everyday lives and joining God in that work as people journeying on mission with God. Or to put it another way, it is the way we “embody the grace of God as we live in the way of Jesus” 
- This is a slightly modified version of The Learning Circle: Journeying On Mission with God which I wrote and was published in Connecting, 28 (February 6, 2013), a biweekly publication of the Columbia Church of Christ.
- Taken from Mike Breen, Building A Discipling Culture, 2nd ed., Pawleys Island, SC: 3 Dimension Ministries, 2011.
This statement is quoted directly from the mission statement of the Columbia Church of Christ.