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One of the benefits of having adult children is the opportunity to get to know their friends.

Jonathan Dodson is a friend of my son Joey. He is a church planter in Austin – very creative and thoughtful. I’ve not met him personally, yet, but I appreciate his love for Jesus and the city he is called to serve.

He recently wrote about how to be missional (missionary) in everyday life. To keep from needlessly offending some of the sensibilities of those who read this, I have slightly edited his article. The original and unedited version is found here.

Missional is not an event we tack onto our already busy lives. It is our life. Mission should be the way we live, not something we add onto life: “As you go, make disciples….”; “Walk wisely towards outsiders”; “Let your speech always be seasoned with salt”; “be prepared to give a defense for your hope”. We can be missional in everyday ways without even overloading our schedules. Here are a few suggestions:

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. Or take your family to family-style restaraunts where you can sit at the table with strangers and strike up conversations. Have cookouts and invite Christians and non-Christians. Flee the Xn subculture.

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. Walk the dog. Bring the kids. Make friends. Get out of the house when your neighbors are out (weekends, after work, holidays, afternoons). Take interest in your neighbor’s hobbies. Ask questions. Engage. Pray as you go. Save some gas and the planet.

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 coffee and food. I give them the free gospel of grace. I know a professor that used to wait by his trash can each week for the garbage collector and gave him a drink. Be a Regular.

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.

Talk to Your Co-workers. How hard is that? Take your breaks with intentionality. Get a pizza 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.

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.

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.

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. 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.

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