Engaging non-Christians

Posted on May 6, 2009

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I think everyone, especially those in ministry, struggle to consistently engage non-Christians outside of church activities and programs.  Relationship-building, as it were, can became very difficult when you are swamped with “internal issues” – meetings, committees, supervising staff, etc (all with Christians!).  I saw these suggestions at theresurgence.com for living like a missionary in your community and thought I would pass them on.  In fact, I followed some of them last night and had the most fun night in my neighborhood to date!

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. Have cookouts 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 to the mailbox or convenience store, walk to get mail or groceries. Be deliberate in your walk. Say hello to people you don’t know. Strike up conversations.

3. Be a Regular :: Instead of hopping all over the city for gas, groceries, haircuts, eating out, and coffee, go to the same places at the same times. Get to know the staff. Smile. Ask questions. Be a regular.

4. Hobby with Non-Christian :: Pick a hobby that you can share. Get out and do something you enjoy with others. Try city league sports or local rowing and cycling teams. Share your hobby by teaching lessons, such as sewing, piano, knitting, or tennis lessons. Be prayerful. Be intentional. Be winsome. Have fun. Be yourself.

5. Talk to Your Co-workers :: How hard is that? Take your breaks with intentionality. Go out with your team or task force after work. Show interest in your co-workers. Pick four and pray for them. Form moms’ groups in your neighborhood and don’t make them exclusively non-Christian. Schedule play dates with the neighbors’ kids.

6. Volunteer with Non-Profits :: Find a non-profit in your part of the city and take a Saturday a month to serve your city. Bring your neighbors, your friends, or your small group. Spend time with your church serving your city. Once a month. You can do it!

7. Participate in City Events :: Instead of playing XBox, watching TV, or surfing the net, participate in city events. Go to fundraisers, festivals, cleanups, summer shows, and concerts. Pray for the city. Love the city. Participate with the city.

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

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