“One Extra Phone Call”
I have talked a bunch with our church about making “extra phone calls” every time anyone is doing anything social. “Make one extra call when you are going to the movies, out to dinner with a friend, to a jazz club, to play basketball, on a hike, and so on.” We always want to be bringing people along to everything that we do, spiritual or not. It is through these continual interactions that we have the opportunity to talk about Jesus and the life he gives freely. I'd say there are 40-50 non-Christians that we are connected with in one way or another, that show up every once in a while to either play sports, go to a movie, or eat dinner.
Also we do service projects twice a month. These are great things to invite people to. Our generation is pretty service-oriented and wants to make a concrete difference. We all get to know each other in the process.
It really doesn't take that much effort - remembering to make the call would be the toughest thing (it means I'll have to slow down a little AND be less introverted, ugh). BUT, I believe it is the LEAST I CAN DO... and once we do this once or twice, it could easily be a habitual practice.
I'm thinking that most of us could go a step further. This does not just have to be about inviting people into your life when you are going out to the movies or the store or for a meal. I think this could happen on a regular basis in our lives by not just "inviting people along" but by inviting them IN.
If you almost always have left-overs... that means you almost always have room for a guest or two for dinner
If you you have an extra seat in your living room... why not fill it?
Any other ideas?
My suggestion would be to
1) JUST DO IT
1) Write down the REASON you would be doing this in the first place (if you don't have a solid foundation for this, you'll never follow through... the whole GO and MAKE DISCIPLES has to start somewhere/sometime)
2) Brainstorm and make a list of things that happen regularly in your life that you could invite others to be a part of (Get excited!)
3) Share this list with your family/friends to partner with others on this mission (motivation & accountability)
4) Write down every excuse that comes to mind as to why you will not follow through (better to face them then pretend that they won't come)
5) Refer to your #1 - remind yourself of the REASON and attack your excuses.
6) Be prayerful about who you will invite and that God will work in your time together with them
More on Neighboring from Pathak & Runyon: Art of Neighboring Origins