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You don’t need to travel far to be a “missionary.” All around us are ready-made opportunities to meet neighbors and share God’s goodness. But in the hectic pace of modern life we have lost sight of these natural venues. Why not slow down, and with a little prayer and determination, reorder your busy lifestyle? Weave “making an impact on my neighbors” into your daily routine!
Most of us travel from one place to another via automobile. Cars do a great job moving us quickly, but they can really limit our interaction with neighbors. If possible, forgo some drives for a stroll. Even if you can’t get anywhere by walking, take a stroll through your apartment complex or subdivision and spend some time speaking with your neighbors.
Most of us like variety, going wherever our moods take us for meals or shopping. But intentionally sharing the gospel may mean becoming a habitual guest at a nearby establishment. Eat at the same local diner once per month, fill up at the same gas station, or get your hair cut by the same professional. Get to know these people so that you can share what the Savior’s doing in your life.
Fundraising for charity isn’t just for large businesses. You can bring it home to your neighbors with a special-purpose neighborhood yard sale that donates some or all of the proceeds to an appealing local charity, such as a rescue mission, an addiction recovery center, or a home for battered women. Use the event as an opportunity to explain why you want to help—because Christ’s sacrificial love compels us to help others.
Churches and Christian ministries need volunteers—but so do many other nonprofit organizations. As your schedule allows, team up with nonbelievers in worthy causes and then look for opportunities to explain why following Christ compels you to help others.
If your neighborhood has several young families, why not start a mom’s group? If several have gardens, why not see if they’d like to get together to share gardening tips? Get to know those who live near you, and find ways to connect with them through shared interests.
Every city faces challenges. Some need help cleaning parks, volunteers for special events, crimewatch, and help in public schools. Read the newspaper or attend council meetings to find the biggest needs. Let your love for those in your city show.
Some age-old staples of hospitality still work today. Surprise your neighbors with “random acts of cookies”—or bread or other foods. Throw a block party with free food. Offer to cut someone’s grass or do other outside chores. Just spend time understanding those close to you and learning how you can pray for them.