Dear Christ Church,
I can't believe I'm writing this, but with Memorial day now past, we are officially in the summer season. Wow, time goes fast. I do love summer in our city though. There are just so many people out and about. Grilling, eating, drinking, it is hard to beat the summer season for the opportunities that we have to connect with our neighbors. As you know, our main outreach strategy as a church is for each us to intentional to reach out to our neighbors. Being on mission to share about Christ isn’t mainly an event, but about what we do in the daily rhythms of our lives. Here are a few ways to consider building in some missional rhythms to your summer.
1. Pay attention to what is already going on in the neighborhood
There are a lot of things that happen during the summer months in our neighborhood. Movie nights, festivals, block parties, etc… If we want to build relationally with people, then we need to prioritize doing stuff together. We don't need to reinvent the wheel. Just join in the awesome things that are already going on. To keep up to speed make sure you read the south philly review and I find this website www.passyunkpost.com to be really helpful too.
2. Walk more places and give yourself more time to get where you are going
The warmer weather gives us even more opportunity to walk to where we need to go. There is just something about walking past people, instead of driving by them, that allows you to connect more. So slow down. Give yourself more time to get to where you are going. Plan and pray to be interrupted. Take a walk and be willing to talk with those you see outside.
3. Spend time on your stoop
Not only is it good to get some Vitamin D by being outside, but the more you are out the more time you can spend with your neighbors who are out and about. Relationships are built through spending time together. Take advantage of the warm nights and make yourself available to spend some time with whoever is out on your block.
4. Eat dinner… And invite others!
Good food is a kind gift of God. The summer months are a great time to try to have a regularly scheduled meals with others. You’d be amazed at how food can bring people together. Summer months are nice for hospitality, because 1) Grilling food is really easy. Put meat on a grill. Turn grill on. Heat for 10-15 minutes. Serve with a bowl of lettuce. People will be amazed. 2) You can use paper products and no one will look at you weird.
5. Throw a party
Our first summer here we attempted to throw a block party. Only 3 people showed up. Fast forward three years and now our block has at least 3 parties per year with anywhere from 15-20 people in attendance. Don’t be discouraged by small beginnings. Just start something.
6. Vacation… with people!
Personally I am not a big fan of the beach. My idea of a good vacation is to go to the mountains. Not sure what the allure is of sitting in the hot sun, getting sandy and being surrounded by crowds of people. However, every year we go to the beach. Why? Because that’s where our friends go and we love to be with friends. Vacations are an important part of life. We all need to slow down and take time to breathe. Make sure to get some r and r this summer, but think about who might be able to join you for some, or all, of your trip.
I’m sure you all have a bunch of other ideas too. It would be great to ask and learn from one another about how each of us are seeking to use these summer months strategically. Let’s continue to live as missionaries in the place that God has us.
See you around the neighborhood,
Facebook Jeff Boettcher