Today we're featuring a guest post from Wes Stecker, Pastor of Missional Formation at Lake Pointe Church outside Dallas, TX.
The summer provides a great opportunity to get your whole family and Life Group on mission. You don’t have to travel far to find the mission field either. During summer months, cities and communities all over are organizing events and gatherings that bring people from all walks of life together. With a little thought, your family, Life Group or Growth Group can enjoy these opportunities with missional intentionality.
• Find a neutral, natural and regular opportunity to connect with others:
Anywhere from 40%-60% of the people in your city would never walk in the doors of our church even if they were invited. While that doesn’t mean we stop inviting them to our weekend worship, it does mean that we should be considering how to engage with them in neutral, natural places on a regular basis.
Summer community events provide all three of those aspects. Many concert series or celebration events are ongoing throughout the summer and provide a neutral environment for natural interaction with those who might cringe at the thought of going to a weekend worship service.
• Build on a relationship God has put in your path:
Think about the relationships you have with those who live around you or enjoy the same kind of events you do. Summer events are perfect opportunities to relax and relate with them.
Maybe it’s a relationship you already have, or it could be one that starts by attending one of the events in your city. Regardless, take advantage of these opportunities to build a relationship you sense God has begun.
Include relationships you already have with Christians. Go to a series of events as a Life Group or Growth Group. Just don’t let your interactions with those you already know impede you from building relationships with those you’re seeking to connect with.
• Talk about Jesus as you would with anyone in the church:
If you are a Jesus follower, you wouldn’t hesitate to talk about the most important thing in your life with anyone in your immediate family. So, be sure to talk openly about your faith in Jesus to those you’re building relationships with as well.
Sometimes this can be intimidating. Getting to know people better is an easy place to start. As you are learning about them, they are going to ask about you. Share what forms the foundation of your life in a natural way. For example: “We’ve lived here in _____ for 12 years. One of the reasons we love it so much is the loving community of people we’ve found in our group of friends. We all believe that Jesus informs every area of our lives, so we try to live sacrificially and authentically because we understand that’s what Jesus lived and taught.”
• Invite them into other aspects of your life:
As you get to know folks better, you’ll have a better idea who is interested in further spiritual conversations. Even if they wouldn’t come to a weekend worship or on-campus Life Groups, invite them into your home. Allowing them to see how you interact with and “love one another” in Christian community puts the gospel on display in a unique way. Including them allows them to see how Christian community interacts in a way that is often counter to their cultural experience or expectations. Often, during those times, questions will come up that will require you to give an explanation of your faith in Jesus.
These four steps are simple. With some thought and sensitivity to where the Holy Spirit is leading, you can enjoy the summer and see God do some amazing things.
What are some other ways you are planning on enjoying the summer with missional intentionality?
// Wes Stecker, Pastor of Missional Formation at LakePointe Church - on Twitter