It is warming up outside! There is the promise of the warm days ahead, and the many social opportunities that come with it. You can make a real difference for the Kingdom of God in your everyday life, right in your own neighborhood or network of friends! Jesus is already at work in your neighborhood, workplace, school, gym, grocery store and everywhere else you spend your time – and your task is simply to spot where he is now at work, and to join in!
You are already in relationship with a host of wonderful people (who probably even like you), so you are simply being a little more conscious of representing Jesus in all those conversations and actions, to let friends see over time the difference the Gospel can make in their specific context. It’s all about relationships, not programs or techniques, so most of what a missionary (that’s you!) does is take small steps in living as a Jesus follower.
Consider a few special ways we can deepen our relationships with neighbors over the summer:
Happy Hour – Host a neighborhood happy hour. Serve drinks and snacks on your front porch early on a Friday evening. Invite the whole street to come and bring a drink to share!
Watching Kids’ Games – Take 50 hot dogs to your child’s next soccer or baseball game to give out to the other families who are watching. Allow this to build community among the team families.
Serving – Invite your neighbors to join you in serving less advantaged parts of the community, perhaps through a ministry that others in church already lead (to foster a sense of a bigger story, rather than just doing hit-and-run service).
Get Dads involved – Go out and do fun, grubby, smelly outdoors activities! Have a fire pit time, when you gather around the fire to tell stories, and to pray for one another/ the group.
Jewelry Making Party – A fun way to gather tweenage girls, their Moms and other relatives. Invite them to “keep one and give one” – each person makes two items, one for themselves and one that you donate to a local ministry for vulnerable women.
Prayer Walking – With some others, prayer walk in your neighborhood, or place of mission. Ask God to bring his blessing, to reveal where there’s darkness to pray away, and for him to give you a greater compassion for the people of that particular community. You may want to be a bit more ambitious and do a community asset mapping exercise. [Community Asset Mapping]
These ideas have been pulled from 31 Ideas of Living a Missional Life taken from Dandelion Resources. Check out lots more great resources for missional life in your neighborhood at www.dandelionresourcing.com!