I wrote last week about a simple practice that each of us could do to reach out to people in our surrounding community. The practice was simply, Eat with Non-Christians. This week I’ll continue in this series of examining missional practices by suggesting another thing that just about any of us can do.
“Be a Regular.” Instead of hopping all over town for gas, groceries, haircuts, eating out, and coffee, go to the same places. Get to know the staff. Go to the same places at the same times. Smile. Ask questions. Tip well.
In Luke 10, Matthew 10, Mark 6 and Luke 9 Jesus gives his disciples the same outreach strategy. He instructs them to get together in pairs and go and look for one person… a person of peace (POP). You will often hear me refer to this as the, “POP strategy.” Much more on that to come, but simply put, POPs are people who are open to you, and to Jesus in you. “Being a Regular” aligns perfectly with this strategy.
It is remarkable how simple it is to become known when you are a regular… especially at local, small businesses. I am an introvert. I will never be the kind of person that draws attention the moment I enter a room. That being said, I am already known by name in my most frequent hangout in Locust, The Daily Grind. They know who I am, and know things about my life and what I do. I don’t have an agenda, I’m simply a customer at their business, but they regularly ask about my life and on occasion there are moments where in subtle ways I have the opportunity to share the reason for the hope that I have (1 Peter 3:15). I am also becoming a familiar face to other regulars. It is an open door for relationships.
I hope you are already getting the sense that this kind of missional living is something that we all can do. It doesn’t mean adding activity after activity to our lives. Through simple missional practices, reaching out to others can (and should) integrate with our daily life and practice. Missional living does not need to be overly-complicated or burdensome. It simply requires paying attention, and adding some intentionality to many of the things that we already do.
*Some of the ideas shared in this series originated in a blog post by Jonathan Dodson. That original post can be found here.