Jonathan Dodson on being missional

This post might be kind of old by now so many of you may have already seen it.  But this was a great and very helpful reflection on what it really means to be missional.

“We can be missional in everyday ways without even overloading our schedules. Here are a few suggestions:

1) Eat with Non-Christians.

We all eat three meals 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 a non-Christian friend.

2) Walk, Don’t Drive.

If you live in a walkable area, make a practice of getting out and walking your neighborhood, apartment complex, campus. Instead of driving to check the mail, go to the convenience store, or visit a neighbor, get out and walk. Say hi to people you don’t know.

3) Be a Regular.

Instead of hopping all over the city for gas, groceries, haircuts, eating out, and coffee, go to the same places. Get to know the staff. Go around the same times. Smile. Ask questions. Be a regular. I have friends at coffeeshops all over the city. I pray for them. They give me free drinks and food. I give them the free gospel of grace.

4) Hobby with Non-Christians.

Pick a hobby that you can share with your city, community, town. Get out and rub shoulders doing something you enjoy with others. City League basketball, football, soccer. Local rowing and cycling teams. Teach sewing lessons, piano lessons, violin, guitar, knitting lessons.  Be prayerful. Be intentional. Be winsome. Be gracious. Have fun. Be yourself.

5) Talk to Your Co-workers.

How hard is that? Take your breaks with intentionality. Get a drink with your team after work. Show interest in your co-workers. Pick four and pray for them. Form mom’s groups in your neighborhood, just don’t make them exclusively non-Christian. Schedule play dates with the neighbors’ kids. Be sociable.

6) Volunteer for a Local Non-Profit.

Find a non-profit in your part of the city and take Saturday a month to serve your city. Bring your neighbors, your friends, or your small group with you. The options are endless here. Just do it.

7) Participate in City-wide Events.

Instead of playing X-Box, watching TV, or talking to your mom on the phone every weekend, go to the city garage sale, fundraisers, the festivals, the clean-ups, the summer shows, SXSW, ACL, Pecan Street Festival, etc. Go and meet people. Study the culture. Reflect on what you see and hear. Pray for the city. Love the city. Participate with the city.

8 ) Look for opportunities to Serve your Neighbors.

Help a neighbor by weeding, mowing, building a cabinet, fixing a car. Stop by the neighborhood association or apartment office and ask if there is anything you can do to help improve things. Stop by your local Police and Fire Stations and ask if there is anything you can do to help them. Get creative.

Don’t make the mistake of making “missional” another thing to add to your schedule. Instead, make your existing schedule missional.”

Read the whole thing here.

This is a great example of what the guys from The Crowded House mean when they speak about church being an identity not a meeting, a programme or a specific event.  Ordinary lives with gospel intentionality – anyone can do this, everyone must do this – church becomes simple, liberating, diverse, missional.  Or as my wife said “I can be me and do this!”

Stephen Murray also has some good reflections on Jonathan’s post

~ by John on May 2, 2009.

One Response to “Jonathan Dodson on being missional”

  1. Amen! I can be me and do this, especially the real me in Christ!

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