Last Sunday we talked about be called to be on mission "as we go" - meaning that we are a part of what God is doing in the world in the everyday things of life. As an attempt to put some legs on that, here is a list of how to approach things you probably do everyday already in a way that helps you "live sent". This list isn't meant to shame you. It also isn't meant to burden you. You aren't expected to do everything on this list - I certainly don't. What it is meant to do is give you a few ideas of how you can be on mission in the ordinary rhythms of life.
When standing in line or watching children, talk to people around you. It is amazing how often you can see the same person once you have gotten to know them a bit.
Find ways to spend more time in your front yard or public areas of your building.
Take your kids to the same park at roughly the same time on school days (most parks have “regulars”)
Don’t let fences stop neighbourly relationships (click here for tips)
Join in a neighbourhood block party. Or start one.
As often as possible, get your groceries from the same store on the same day of the week (and talk to your teller)
Once you get to know a teller, go through their till whenever possible, even if that means choosing the longer line.
When possible, keep your blinds open (here is why)
Stick around at soccer practice, ballet lessons or swimming. Watch your kids and get to know their teammates parents.
Consider volunteering or coaching your kids programs.
Remember, any action can be an occasion for a quick chat with your neighbour – even taking out the garbage or checking the mail at the same time (and the more quick chats you have, the more likely you develop a real relationship)
Make an effort to attend strata events and social gatherings. If there aren’t any, see if there is interest in starting some.
If arranging playdates for your kids, invite the parents
Meditate on how to live out 1 Corinthians 9:19-23 is lived out in your context.
Pray with your kids before you drop them off at school – it helps reframe your mindset as both them and you prepare to interact with others.
Speaking of dropping off the kids. Do it. In person. Pick them up to. Get there a bit early and keep your phone in your pocket.
When hosting birthday parties for kids, make opportunity for parents to join for all or part of it.
Learn to listen. When in a conversation, listen for ways that you can show love to someone.
If you have a freezer, try to have a freezer meal stored for quick help for a friend in need.
Don’t be afraid to use the Dunbar Heights meals ministry to help a friend who just had a baby, moved or is in medical need
If you frequent a coffee shop or restaurant a lot, tip well and talk to the staff.
Don’t be afraid to re-introduce yourself to someone and ask their name again.
Try and host someone in your place once-a-week for a meal, for dessert or just for tea.
Find someone who likes a show you are enthralled with and invite them to watch it with you.
Never watch a hockey game by yourself.
Champion or join a cause that will bring your neighbourhood together.
Buy a good snow shovel. When it snows, do your neighbors sidewalk too.
If you're renting, do what you can to maintain shared outside areas.
Deliver your rent cheque in person (maybe add bonus cookies).
Utilize Facebook but never divorce it from real life relationships.
If you find out someone has a need, don’t ask how you can help, tell them how you will help. (like this)
Sign up to do a charity run or bike and canvass your friends for support (which reminds me, Ride for Refuge in support of New Hope Community Services refugee house is Oct. 3rd)
Talk about things that matter to you.
If someone is showing interest in what you believe, offer to study the Bible with them.
Hand out hot chocolate for the parents on Halloween.
Volunteer for PAC or strata council.
When you get together with work friends, invite some church friends.
When you get together with church friends, invite some work friends.
Join a crafting group or a book club.
Extroverts tend to have many more shallow friendships. Introverts tend to have fewer, deeper friendships. Don’t try to be someone you aren’t. But do try to open your friendship circle or deepen your relationships a bit.
Go on holidays with a neighbourhood family.
Volunteer at the community centre or school.
Stop to offer a ride to someone you know at a bus stop.
Keep an eye out for moving vans in your neighbourhood and lend a hand to a new neighbour moving in (also, bring pie).
Keep meditating on the gospel and learning what makes it “Good News” in your life. Then talk about that.
Practice talking about what makes the gospel “Good News” in your life with your kids and Christians friends. This builds a habbit that carries over to other relationships.
Mediate on how to show a 1 Corinthians 11 love in our friendships.
Take the kids or the dog out for evening walks. Stop often to talk.
Host a board game or movie night.
Remember that making someone a Christian is not the end goal. That can turn people into projects. Bringing renewal means that we are loving them and showing them how the gospel changes our life. Having them to respond to that is a hope, but not a pretext for our relationship.