***This post originally appeared on matthewboyd.net in June 2010.***
How well do you know your neighbor? Before moving to Raleigh my wife and I discussed how we wanted to live intentional within the community where God provided for us to live and be missional amongst our neighbors. Although, we had the best intentions and it is not that we have not put forth some effort, but in some ways we do not know many of our neighbors. This was clearly brought to my attention today when I waved to a neighbor two doors down, but decided this time to walk over and introduce myself. We introduced ourselves and then she said, "I wish you could meet my husband, but he has been in the hospital for the last three months."
Immediately I recognized that good intentions only go so far and in order for good intentions to become reality we have to act on those intentions. I thankfully know this neighbor now and we were able to spend about fifteen minutes getting to know each other and I learned how I could be of assistance to her and pray for her and her husbands health. The tragedy is that people no longer know their neighbors in our society and Christians as a whole are generally known as different or prefer to "protect" their families through the sin of busyness with church activities 24/7.
To be intentional and missional is going to look different for all of us. For some it will be getting to meet your neighbors for the very first time. For others it will be inviting some neighbors over for dinner this friday night. For others it may be offering to help a neighbor with a project or some yard work. It doesn't specifically matter what it is, but what does matter is that you do something in order to share the message of Jesus Christ.
Here are a few ideas from an Acts 29 pastor Jonathan Dodson in Austin Texas on missional living:
1. Eat with Non-Christians
2. Walk, Don’t Drive
3. Be a Regular
4. Hobby with Non-Christians
5. Talk to Your Co-workers.
6. Volunteer with Non-Profits.
7. Participate in City Events
8. Serve Your Neighbors.
What are some ways that you intentional get to know those around you? Feel free to comment below.