Summer is on the horizon, the days are lengthening, people are emerging from their winter hibernation, and we are entering the time of year where relationships in our places of mission flow easily because we have many more opportunities to connect. Now is the time to think about how we can the people we love encounter more of God’s Kingdom – your summer of mission lies ahead of you!
Below are 10+ hot ways to live a summer of mission. You will be able to think of many more – because really this is simple stuff. As disciples of Jesus, we are intentionally turning our everyday summer experiences into missional moments, allowing those around us to catch glimpses of the risen Jesus in our midst. Out of that, many conversations will flow.
These ideas will work for you individually, as a household and as a missional community.As disciples of Jesus, we are intentionally turning our everyday summer experiences into missional moments Click To Tweet
1. Yards and gardens
- Help neighbors struggling with yard maintenance. Are there any single moms, or elderly, whom you could serve in this way? Weeding is not easy for the frail, and is a low priority for those with too much on their plate.
- Share your tools and equipment with neighbors. Plan on pooling money to buy items together (eg hedge trimmers, weed eaters, lawnmowers). You could even have a neighborhood compost pile!!
- Plant a fruit and vegetable garden. Plan to have plenty of extra, so that you can give things away to neighbors and friends. Even those who don’t like veggies are touched by the gift of home-grown, freshly-harvested salad or fruit.
- Throw a BBQ (and pool party) for your neighbors.
- Hang out with them at the holidays – don’t just retreat inwards to your extended family.
- Start a weekly open meal night, and encourage different people to host. It doesn’t have to be a big meal – cooking marshmallows around a fire is wonderful!
- Sit on your front porch (or simply in front of your house or apartment building), in order to hang out in a social space. Greet and chat with neighbors and passers-by. Offer them a drink/ some chips/ a brownie etc. Be hospitable.
- Intentionally walk in your neighborhood. Be around at that ‘promenading’ time of day, when people are home from work and enjoying some fresh air. Allow time to stop and chat.
- Bring in some treats for the staff room.
- Organize a staff summer picnic.
- If you lead a team, hold your meetings outside when the weather is pleasant.
- Arrange a regular “lunch out” and allow anyone to come.
- Join a sports league. Softball, soccer, and kickball leagues are in full swing during the summer. Encourage a few of your friends from your missional community to join with you, so that you can be a ready hub of fun and relationships.
- If you have younger children or a dog, become a regular at the local park as a place where you exercise and relax.
- Help your kids to run a lemonade stand, all the profits of which go towards a local family (or charity) who are in need. Let the kids choose the beneficiary.
- If you know someone who is having a hard time financially, pop some cash in an envelope, disguise your writing or type the envelope, and deliver it to them. Mark it, “For a summer treat!”
- Give a lottery ticket to a neighbor!
7. Chalking and tee-peeing
Older kids love to “hit” their friends’ homes by chalking and tee-peeing their yards. Instead of doing it as a prank, though, have them think through how to “hit” someone’s yard in a way that will bless them.
- What chalk messages and pictures would be fun for them to receive?
- Instead of toilet paper, what could you plant in their yard that would enhance it?
- Could you leave a fun gift on their doorstep?
8. Invite an extra
As you plan treats and trips out for your kids, encourage them to invite a friend, especially those from non-Christian homes. Don’t bait and switch – simply model how you do life as Jesus followers. You will speak deeply into their souls, and while you may not see the results, you will shape their hopes and dreams and expectations for adulthood.
- Pray for your neighborhood/ place of mission.
- Be specific.
- Include the kids in praying and thinking up topics.
- Prayer walk.
10. Neighborhood Vacation Bible School
While people might not be open to dropping their kids off at a church building, they may well accept an invitation to a neighborhood home to play games, have fun, make crafts and learn about Jesus. If the invitation is given in a friendly, gentle, relational manner, the response may be surprisingly positive!
+ Don’t Forget To Rest
Model how to rest, relax and be renewed! Summer is meant to be a time where we are refreshed, so be known as the people who have a really healthy work-rest balance.
What other mission ideas would you add?
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- To read another perspective on this topic (7 Serve Ideas For Missional Communities With Kids) please click here
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