Summer has arrived! And as we combine that with the beginning of the long thaw out of the pandemic, this is the perfect time for taking the initiative in mission.
One of the things ALL of us can be doing is building relationships with friends, neighbors, and colleagues in our place of mission. (If you’re in doubt, start with your geographical neighbors, since everyone has those!).
We think in terms of PARTIES. Whether you gather as two people over a drink or a couple of households or 80 people all over your home, here are 10 ideas for neighborly gatherings that will be fun and relational.
DON’T FORGET: The goal is to build relationships, notice who connects more with you, and then see with whom you can move into more profound conversations. If things go really well, you end up in the place where you can ask, “Can I pray for you?” But it all starts with creating a fun, invitational community.
- ‘Remodel tour’ of your neighborhood – This is where those who have done work on the house or yard invite neighbors to come check it out! You could even arrange prizes (*could be risky!!).
- Soccer fans – Watch the European Championships in groups (don’t forget this is Jesus’ favorite sport!). Or if there’s another uniting sport going on this summer, do that.
- July 4th – Organize a party or parade (perhaps help kids to decorate bikes and scooters in advance).
- Social circles – Gather around a fire pit, grill, or corn hole.
- Larger parties – Ice cream parties, pool parties, outdoor movie nights, drinks on the front lawn on a weekend evening.
- Block party – What Neighborhood couldn’t benefit from one of these? Invite some neighbors in from the beginning to come up with ideas and to organize it.
- Networks – If your group is more built around a network rather than a neighborhood, arrange a meet up at the park, the beach, the movie theater, for a hike, a restaurant, or similar.
- Serve – Find a summer serve project that you can invite neighbors to join you in (e.g. freshening up the yard of someone who struggles to keep on top of things, or volunteering to help teachers as they clean up their classrooms after 18 months, or providing resources for a ministry that serves the poor in your community).
- Back packs – Organize some back-to-school backpack filling. If you don’t have connections, simply approach a local elementary school or a school in a poorer area of town.
- School prayer – Draw in neighbor families at the end of summer vacation for a back-to-school prayer time for their kids. Simply ask them what they want prayer for, and then invite a few people to pray out loud for some of the requests. Let anyone pray and see what Jesus does!
- Which of these ideas can you put into action? Do you have some other ideas?
- Who will be team with you?
- Can you look to do at least one thing each month – June, July, August, and September?
George Barna: Latest Findings Show America Is Now a Major Mission Field
This is pretty horrifying report with the latest stats on US beliefs – but it shows us how much opportunity there is for mission!
As Barna concludes, “As I see it, Christian ministry as practiced [in America] for the last five decades will be ineffective in meeting these new challenges.”
We Need Your Help!
Last month we released our new book, Healing the Sick: Biblical and Practical Wisdom for Healing the Sick in Naturally Supernatural Ways. Many of you have already bought this resource – thank you!
If you’ve read the book, we’d like to ask for a favor! Please could you leave us a quick review on Amazon? Just two sentences to sum up your thoughts (hopefully positive!) would be wonderful!
Just click on this link – Healing the Sick book Amazon page – to jump straight there.
By sharing a positive comment and 5 stars on Amazon, you help ensure that more readers will find the Naturally Supernatural book series. We want to help as many people and churches as possible to discover this vital teaching. Thank you in advance for taking 2 minutes to leave a review!
Thank you so much!
Alex & Hannah