“Don’t make the mistake of making ‘missional’ another thing to add to your schedule. Instead, make your existing schedule missional.”
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 toward 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. Cook out 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 six-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 two to three 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.