April 28, 2023
How do you get everyone in your church involved in mission? Here are simple steps you can take to help your church build relationships with your neighbors.
How do we move mission from the responsibility of an outreach committee or pastor to the “person in the pew”? This is one of the biggest challenges leaders face in helping their congregation become missional and focused on developing relationships with their neighbors in which they can share the love and grace of Jesus Christ.
This change happens when a group of people each take small, simple steps in the same direction. If you’re ready to encourage your congregation to join in this mission, Resonate is here to help you with a practical resource you can use this summer.
Choose Three Simple Things
Your first step is to choose three simple things that people can do in their neighborhoods this summer, one for each month. Examples of possibilities include:
Have neighbors over for donuts in your driveway on a Saturday morning.
Or have your neighbors over for driveway S’mores. Set up a portable firepit and invite neighbors over!
Hand out baggies of sidewalk chalk and invite people in your neighborhood to chalk the walk one weekend. Hand out prizes for the most colorful, creative, etc. Be ready to be outside and talk to the neighbors looking at the art!
What is the closest restaurant to your neighborhood? Invite neighbors to meet up one evening for appetizers or dinner.
Set a goal to learn five new things about your neighbors this month through conversations with them.
Celebrate June Solstice (June 21) with a late-night gathering outside.
Hang out in your front yard for a total of 80 minutes a month, whether that’s gardening, sitting in a lawn chair, eating a picnic, or something else you enjoy. Which neighbors do you wave to? What random conversations do you have?
Invite someone over for coffee or a meal who has never been to your house before.
Is there a nonprofit in your neighborhood that needs tangible items? Email your neighbors with a list of their needs and schedule a time when you can drop by their house to pick them up. Make enough time for conversation!
Prepare a “Simple Summer Steps into Mission” Guide for Each Household
The template we’ve prepared for you includes an explanation of what they’ll be doing, ideas for promoting it in their neighborhood, suggestions for how they can enter that space with a missional posture, and encouragement to share with your congregation what they experienced and where they saw God at work.
Keep the Conversation Going
Design a way to keep the conversation going so your congregation can learn from each other. Maybe you will have time in the worship services for people to share their stories. Or you could ask them to send in pictures of what they did to put in an offering-time slide show. What new prayer requests will they share because of these interactions?
Finally, celebrate at the end of the summer all the simple steps into mission your congregation took this summer!
Amy Schenkel is Resonate Global Mission's Regional Mission Leader for the Great Lakes Region