I’m having a crack at preparing some material for a community group that’s meeting through Lent, looking at being ‘good news people’, and I stumbled across this exercise in Tim Chester and Steve Timmis’ book, Everyday Church.
It’ll take you just a few minutes, but it’s an eye-opening and effective way to see the opportunities we already have to make the everyday & mundane more missional.
Firstly, think of all the activities that make up your normal routines. Make a list of these, no matter how ordinary they might seem.
Generally speaking, most of us probably have three sets of ‘rhythms’:
…(1) a daily routine (like travelling to work, eating meals, chores, walking the dog, playing with the children);
(2) a weekly routine (like grocery shopping, watching favourite TV shows, getting exercise);
and (3) a monthly routine (like gardening, getting a hair cut, going to the cinema).
You should have a long list.
Now here’s the genius. You ready? Ok, here we go:
For each one, consider whether you could do it with someone.
I know, I know, I’ll say it again because it’s easy to miss: consider whether you could do it with someone.
And in particular, think whether you could add:
(1) A community component by involving another member of your Christian community;
(2) A missional component by involving someone who’s not a Christian;
(3) A gospel component by identifying opportunities to talk about Jesus.
Clearly not everything you do can be done with someone else. But this exercise reveals just how many opportunities you do have.
You might knock on a friend’s door as you walk the dog to see if they want to walk with you.
You might offer an elderly neighbour a ride when you drive to the supermarket.
You might meet a member of the Christian community for breakfast one morning a week or agree to ride on the same bus to work.
Instead of reading your Christian book in the canteen, you might take the opportunity to get to know your colleagues.
And here’s the brilliant bit about all this:
None of this is adding anything to your schedule, for these are all activities in which you are already engaged.
The only thing is that this is so straightforward, so totally possible, that’s it’s actually a little bit uncomfortable! It brings gospel intentionality into the everyday rhythms we all have, which perhaps we often prefer to keep as ‘our time’.
Give it a go! What do you think?