I thought I would make the first post of 2012 for cultivating daily into neighbors a simple and focused one. Tim Chester, author of Everyday Church: mission by being good neighbors and A Meal with Jesus among many other quality books, offered these in a brief article that was highlighted by the Verge Network.
Hope they encourage you as you are cultivating the love of the near Jesus daily into your neighbors.
10 Simple Ways To Be Missional
…without adding anything to your schedule
by Tim Chester
1. Eat with other people. _ We all eat 3 meals a day. That’s 21 opportunities for church and mission each week without adding anything new to your schedule. And meals are a powerful expression of welcome and community.
2. Work in public places. _ Hold meetings, prepare talks, read in public spaces like cafes, pubs and parks. It will naturally help you engage with the culture as work or plan. For example, whose questions do you want to address in your Bible studies – those of professional exegetes or those of the culture?
3. Be a regular. _ Adopt a local café, pub, park and shops so you regularly visit and become known as a local. Imagine if everyone in your gospel community did this!
4. Join in with what’s going on. _ Churches often start their own thing like a coffee shop or homeless program. Instead, join existing initiatives – you don’t have the burden of running it and you get opportunities with co-workers.
5. Leave the house in the evenings. _ It’s so easy after a long day on a dark evening to slump in front of the television or surf the internet. Get out! Visit a friend. Take a cake to a neighbor. Attend a local group. Go to the cinema. Hang out in a café. Go for a walk with a friend. It doesn’t matter where as long as you go with gospel intentionality.
6. Serve your neighbors. _ Weed a neighbor’s garden. Help someone move. Put up a shelf. Volunteer with a local group. It could be one evening a week or one day a month. Try to do it with other members of your gospel community so it becomes a common project. Then people will see your love for one another and it will be easier to talk about Jesus.
7. Share your passion. _ What do you enjoy? Find a local group that shares your passion. Be missional and have fun at the same time!
8. Hang out with your work colleagues. _ Spend your lunch break with colleagues. Go for a drink after work. Share the journey to work.
9. Walk. _ Walking enables you to engage with your neighborhood at street level. You notice things you don’t in a car. You are seen and known in the neighborhood.
10. Prayer walk. _ Walk around your neighborhood using what you see as fuel for prayer. Pray for people, homes, businesses, community groups and community needs. Ask God to open your eyes to where He is at work and to fill your heart with love for your neighborhood.