Mission 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 on mission in everyday ways without overloading our schedules. Here are a few suggestions that create intention with what you already do and open doors as you join in with others:
1. Eat With Non-Christians
We all eat three meal 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. Barbeque 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 the distance 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, bringing the kids, taking a 6-pack (and share). 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 regularly. Go there at the same times weekly. Get to know the staff by name. Ask questions and listen with care, you may become friends.
Who wouldn’t like having friends at Starbucks who donate leftover pastries to church groups for specific gatherings or occasionally to give out to homeless shelters in your area? Build relationships through being a regular.
4. Hobby With Non-Christians
Maybe you have wanted to get out and try new things, pick up a hobby that you can share and enjoy with others. Instead of waiting for a church group to inspire you - try recreation sports leagues, community wine and paint nights, local rowing or cycling teams. Share your established hobby by teaching lessons. Teach sewing, piano, violin, guitar, knitting, or tennis lessons. Be prayerful & intentional. Be winsome, have fun being yourself and Christ will shine through.
5. Talk to your co-workers/other at-home parents
Consider leaving your cellular device behind as you take your breaks with intention to connect - make eye contact and chat. Show interest in your co-workers. Go out with your team members after work. Pick four and pray for them. Form a mom's group in your neighborhood and don't make them exclusively Christian. Schedule play dates with the neighbors' kids.
6. Invite others to volunteer with you
Do you volunteer regularly at a school, periodically at a non-profit in your community or take one day a month to serve your city? Bring your neighbors, your friends, or a small group Christians. People are drawn to lending a hand and will be attracted to serving alongside you and they may learn about Jesus through your compassionate and generous attitude.
7. Participate in city events
Instead of the usual playing X-Box, watching TV, or surfing the net, participate in city events. Go to fundraisers, festivals, clean-ups, multi-cultural shows, and concerts. Participate intentionally with gospel in mind. Strike up Conversation. Study the culture. Reflect on what you see and hear. Take note of needs. Pray for the city. Love the city. Participate with the city.
8. Serve Neighbors
We all have jobs to do around the house - weeding, mowing, building a shed, fixing a car. Take note if others are in need on your block - mow your yard and theirs. Help them with the projects they are already doing.
Stop by the neighborhood association or apartment office and ask if there is anything you can do to help improve things where you live. It could become contagious; maybe neighbors will be looking for ways to help others too. Together you could ask local Police and Fire Stations if there is anything you can do to help them as they serve the community.
Don't make the mistake of making "mission" another thing to add to your schedule. Instead, make your existing schedule missional. As you live everyday with mission in mind, it becomes a lifestyle and you will be surprised how many doors open for revealing Jesus in daily life.