What are a few ways to be the church outside the walls of the church?
We’re all familiar with the idea of hipsters, right? Bearded, fixie bike riders who don’t drink anything but proper coffee & consume cereal in the middle of the day? Well – “Let’s be intentional about loving people outside the walls of the church” is the phrase of the hipster Christian.
And let’s face it. Hipsters are cool. So you gotta start doing this, too.
Plus that church movement that meets in someone’s living room with a few candles in the corner, & refer to themselves as “Christ Followers” rather than just saying “Christians”, seems to be on to something. Their churches are growing (as in people are being saved rather than they’re stealing from other churches), strangers are interested & discipleship is happening at a serious level.
So, in some vague attempt to humour you & provide insight, I’ve written in five” DO’S & DON’T’s” of how to start impacting the world around you in a way that embodies the church.
1. DO talk to your work colleagues. Get interested in what they’re interested in.
DON’T pamphlet them daily with awful drivel that’s supposed to be a church notice sheet featuring a cartoon that just isn’t funny.
2. DO spend time eating with people. Some of the best conversations we have are over dinner & we’re all eating at pretty much the same time anyway. Do it together.
DON’T get a take away, sit on your own in front of the TV in your badly lit, lifeless front room & ignore everyone.
3. DO search for conversation. Not everyone is going to be your friend but saying “Hello” to people is always nice.
DON’T badger the person you’re standing next to on your morning commute. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
4. DO buy little gifts for people. Who’s behind you in the coffee queue? Buy them their drink.
DON’T tweet about how generous & amazing you are because self-righteousness just isn’t fun.
5. DO be regular at places. It helps build relationship with people if you go to the same local bakery & learn the name of the baker & what he does in his spare time. Plus she has to speak to you anyway because you’re her customer so it’s easy training.
DON’T go to one place & leave when you’re bored, never returning again. If you go to an open mic night & leave after you’ve done your little act… I’m looking at you.
The great thing about being “church outside the walls” is that it’s really, really easy. You just gotta try care for the people around you, whether you like them or not.
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