5 Ways to Live on Mission in Your Neighborhood
Living on mission isn’t very complicated – it really just means living intentionally like a missionary – with the Gospel at the center of how we live. A common fear and misconception is that missional means “additional”… Additional activities, appointments, responsibilities, serving opportunities… Filling up the calendar with more stuff. That perspective can easily start to feel like a heavy burden of duty that induces guilt, rather than a Gospel-centered lifestyle that results in purpose and joy.
I like to think of life “on mission” not as “additional, but as “intentional.” Simply being more intentional to think of ways to live out the heart of the Gospel in the normal rhythms of everyday life.
Here are some practical ideas that – if driven by Gospel-centered intentionality – can bring a missional purpose to how you already live.
1.Have a neighbor over for a meal
Everyone needs to eat. 3 meals a day means there are 21 opportunities in a week. And is there a more casual and comfortable way of getting to know someone than around a table with a good meal and some good music? It’s so easy for us to wave at our neighbors as we’re driving by, park the car in the garage and get inside to our comfort zone. Invite someone in and get to know them. Opportunities to sow Gospel seeds will naturally begin to emerge.
2.Take a walk
It’s amazing how many missional opportunities await when we simply walk around the neighborhood – especially at a time (like after work) when people are more likely to be out doing things in their yard or even on a walk themselves. Keep your eyes open for chances to simply say “Hi – how was your day?” and see how God opens doors for further conversation.
3.Frequent the same coffee shop
Guess what happens when you become a “regular” at your local coffee shop? You get to know the other “regulars” – as well as the baristas, servers and other employees. When you have some margin to read a book or magazine, resist the urge from time to time to do it alone in the living room. Get over to Wesley Owens or Serrano’s and see what kind of opportunities for conversation percolate.
4.Do something for someone
If you do happen to have some extra time to kill… Does your neighbor have a driveway that needs shoveled? A shelf in the garage that needs to be built? Fence fixed? Deck stained? Gospel intentionality is the key.
5.Watch a neighbor’s kids for an evening
Let’s say you were going to stay home and play games with your kids one night… What if you had your neighbor’s kids join you for the evening so their parents could get out for a much-needed date night? You’re not adding anything additional to your calendar, but you’re winning the heart of your neighbor. What a way to build relational equity into our neighborhood relationships and sow some Gospel seeds in the process!
It doesn’t need to take much additional energy to live on mission. It just takes a little Gospel intentionality and some prayer to align our hearts in dependence on the Holy Spirit. Mission can easily fit into the natural rhythms of life if we keep our eyes open for Gospel opportunities.