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8 Simple Ways to be Missional

June 21, 2011

Jonathan Dodson (whose blog did a review of our book Launching Missional Communities) recently wrote an article for the VERGE Network on 8 simple ways to be missional. Loved his train of thinking and thought it was worth sharing.

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Missional is not an event we tack onto our already busy lives. It is our life. Mission should be the way we live, not something we add onto life: “As you go, make disciples….”; “Walk wisely towards outsiders”; “Let your speech always be seasoned with salt”; “be prepared to give a defense for your hope”. We can be missional in everyday ways without overloading our schedules. Here are a few suggestions:

1. Eat with Non-Christians. We all eat three meals a day. Why not make a habit of sharing one of those meals with a non-Christian or with a family of non-Christians? Go to lunch with a co-worker, not by yourself. Invite the neighbors over for family dinner. If it’s too much work to cook a big dinner, just order pizza and put the focus on conversation. When you go out for a meal invite others. Or take your family to family-style restaurants where you can sit at the table with strangers and strike up conversation. Cookout and invite Christians and non-Christians. Flee the Christian subculture.

2. Walk, Don’t Drive. If you live in a walkable area, make a practice of getting out and walking around your neighborhood, apartment complex, or campus. Instead of driving to the mailbox, convenience store, or apartment office, walk to get mail, groceries, and stuff. Be deliberate in your walk. Say hello to people you don’t know. Strike up conversations. Attract attention by walking the dog, taking a 6-pack (and share), bringing the kids. Make friends. Get out of your house! Take interest in your neighbors. Ask questions. Pray as you go. Save some gas, the planet, and some people.

3. Be a Regular. Instead of hopping all over the city for gas, groceries, haircuts, eating out, and coffee, go to the same places. Get to know the staff. Go to the same places at the same times. Smile. Ask questions. Be a regular. I have friends at coffee shops all over the city. My friends at Starbucks donate a ton of left over pastries to our church 2-3 times a week. We use them for church gatherings and occasionally give to the homeless. Build relationships. Be a Regular.

4. Hobby with Non-Christians. Pick a hobby that you can share. Get out and do something you enjoy with others. Try City League sports. Local rowing and cycling teams. Share your hobby by teaching lessons. Teach sewing lessons, piano lessons, violin, guitar, knitting, tennis lessons. Be prayerful. Be intentional. Be winsome. Have fun. Be yourself.

5. Talk to Your Co-workers. How hard is that? Take your breaks with intentionality. Go out with your team or task force after work. Show interest in your co-workers. Pick four and pray for them. Form mom groups in your neighborhood and don’t make them exclusively Christian. Schedule play dates with the neighbors’ kids. Work on mission.

6. Volunteer with Non-Profits. Find a non-profit in your part of the city and take Saturday a month to serve your city. Bring your neighbors, your friends, or your small group. Spend time with your church serving your city. Once a month. You can do it!

7. Participate in City Events. Instead of playing X-Box, watching TV, or surfing the net, participate in city events. Go to fundraisers, festivals, clean-ups, summer shows, and concerts. Participate missionally. Strike up conversation. Study the culture. Reflect on what you see and hear. Pray for the city. Love the city. Participate with the city.

8. Serve your Neighbors. Help a neighbor by weeding, mowing, building a cabinet, fixing a car. Stop by the neighborhood association or apartment office and ask if there is anything you can do to help improve things. Ask your local Police and Fire Stations if there is anything you can do to help them. Get creative. Just serve!

Don’t make the mistake of making “missional” another thing to add to your schedule. Instead, make your existing schedule missional.

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. June 21, 2011 4:18 am

    Love this! So true. Thank you!

  2. June 21, 2011 6:00 am

    I love the simplicity and accessibility in these 8 things. Thanks for this!

  3. June 21, 2011 12:54 pm

    Simple & relational is best!

  4. June 21, 2011 2:53 pm

    these are great and so practical… I feel like we throw around the ‘missional’ without really knowing how it fleshes out in daily life. this is very helpful.

  5. June 22, 2011 10:48 pm

    Gracias, thank you!
    I shared with my latino huddle this 8 ways to be missional

    Pr. Samuel Nieva

  6. June 23, 2011 5:10 pm

    Thanks for the reminders.

  7. June 26, 2011 5:16 am

    So glad to have read this. I’ve been dying for some “out” ever since college where it was so easily accessible! I felt challenged, after reading this, to be more intentional with neighbors and just got back from the neighborhood block party. Feelin’ fired up and ready to rock them with the Love of Jesus! Yeah! Gotta start with relationship, though!

  8. July 6, 2011 11:47 pm

    Great to be on mission with you, Mike, and everyone else!

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