This is an article from Jonathan Dodson, pastor of Austin City Life in TX. I wanted to be able to see the words more than a link so that is why I have pasted it here. We can say a lot with our lips but are we actually willing to engage?
At Austin City Life Mission is our churchwide focus this quarter. We preached through a six sermon series on Mission: the point of the church. The first three sermons focused on motivation for mission; the second three sermons were on practicals for mission. Here’s how we trained our people on Sunday morning for everyday mission. We advocated doing “everyday things with gospel intentionality” (phrase from Total Church) by using some memorable phrases and attaching stories to them.
Don’t Eat Alone. Last time I checked we all eat at least three meals a day. Most Christians eat them alone or with other Christians. What would it look like for you to intentionally share meals with non-Christians. To get to know them over food? 21 meals a week, just start with one meal a week. I challenge you, 1 out of 21. Share it with non-Christians and be intentional. Don’t hide your faith but don’t force it either. Live with gospel intentionality in your meal eating.
Be a Regular. One family in our church are regulars at a coffeeshop where they have gotten to know the staff. As they got to know them, they invited the staff over for pizza and got to connect outside of work. This has continued. This couple hangs out with some of the staff regularly now. One girl drops by their house and just hangs out. Apparently she’s pretty down on the Church, but she’s willing to hang out with a family that shares, shows, and embodies the gospel. They even have spiritual conversations sometimes. Now, this would have never happened if they weren’t regulars. It wouldn’t have happened if they were normal regulars, treating the staff as workers, people who exist to serve the customer. Instead, they treat them as people who have worth outside of work, people who have fears and dreams that only the gospel can sufficiently address. They loved them; not just used them. It’s not just being a regular but a redemptive regular who bring grace into everyday life.
Hobby with the City. Ever notice how churches tend to create their own Christian version of hobbies in their city? If they like to cycle, then instead of joining one of the countless Austin cycling clubs, they create at Christian cycling club! Instead of joining a Run-Tex club, they form a Christian running club. Church League sports. It’s pathetic. Instead of joining a city league, churches create their own leagues so they can play one another! One guy in our church cycles regularly with city club. He participates with the city, shares a common hobby. He hasn’t joined a Christian cycling club; he just hopped into one that already exists. Over the miles they cycle together the talk about life. He gets to share, show, and embody the gospel with them. He’s had some of his cycling buddies over for dinner. Another example. There’s a group of women in our church who hobby with the city by throwing girly parties–Crafts, Bunko, Baby showers. It’s not a Christian party; it’s a good party. All the women bring food, hang out, play games, and share life, stay late. Lots of good conversations and social connections. These women are hobbying with the city.
Be a Good Neighbor. Another person in our church has been very deliberate about getting out of their house. They walk the neighborhood. Walk to the mailbox instead of drive over. Play with their kids in front yard instead of the back, and engage their neighbors in conversation. Over time, the neighbors have warmed to hearing the gospel because they were loved and accepted first. One guy, a committed postmodern, theist, homosexual recently had a crisis. Partner left, his health is in decline, some pretty big issues. Who did he call? That neighbor. Why? Because that neighbor consistently loved him and listened to him. He got to show, share, and embody the gospel over and over again. This neighbor hangs with his family and has come to the Parish. Why? Because he had a good neighbor. Be a good neighbor.
Serve Your City. We brought someone up to share about a recent missional project with a non-profit. The answered these questions as they told the story and shared pictures with the church.
- What is Safeplace/non-profit? Who do they serve, details?
- What did we do? Where was the need?
- What kind of people did it take?
- How did is demonstrate the gospel?
- How were people affected?
- How you can do this by being a part of a City Group?