In order for us to reach the unchurched in our cities, we have to get to know them. Often times this can be difficult for Christians. Between all of our church activities, our kids sports, and fellowship with other Christians, it can seem difficult to make the time to befriend those who are not running in our same circles. However, if our desire is to reach our community for Christ, and it should be, we have to find ways to interact with those who are non-Christians. With that in mind, I want to offer you a few suggestions that might help you to interact with those outside of your church circles.
Ways to Interact
Encourage Your Kids to Play on a City Sports League
Kids typically play sports, and as their parent, you are the one who takes them to practice and watches their games. Since you are already involved in this activity, why not enroll your child in the city league instead of placing them on a church team? By doing so, you will have the opportunity to get to know the other parents, who may or may not be Christians.
Sign Yourself Up for a City Sponsored Sports League
We all need exercise, and most of us enjoy playing some sort of sport, so why not play it with your neighbors? City sports leagues are a great way to interact with those living in the community. The common bond helps to build relationships with those you would not ordinarily come in contact with, allowing you the opportunity to speak the gospel into their lives.
There are many different leagues to play in: Soft Ball, Kick Ball, Basketball, Soccer, Rugby (if you are a real man), etc.
Join a Local Club
If you do not have a hobby, you need to get one. It is a great way to relieve stress and keep you sane. If you have a hobby, why not consider doing it with others in your community? There are many different clubs you can join: Book Clubs, Chess Clubs, Cycling Clubs, Running Clubs, Photography Clubs, etc.
Get Out of Your House
Another way to meet those in your neighborhood is by getting out of the house. Do yard work when your other neighbors are out. Walk around the block. Office outside of the house. I spend a lot of time at Starbucks, which has allowed me to get to know the employees and frequent customers, and it has led to many opportunities to either speak into their lives, or share the gospel with them.
If a buddy from work invites you to come over and watch the game, take the opportunity. He may not come to church with you, but hanging with him at his house is a great opportunity to start building into him, getting to know him, and hopefully having the opportunity to share the gospel with him. In addition, people typically invite more than one person over to watch a game, so it can be a great opportunity to meet their friends.
Invite Co-Workers or Neighbors Over For Dinner
Sharing a meal with someone is a great way to get to know them. It is non-threatening, and provides a lot of time for conversation. You may not be able to get your neighbor to attend church with you, but I bet they will come over for a free dinner.
Those are a few suggestions as to ways we can meet non-believers, get to know them, and speak the gospel into their lives. Yes, it takes a little effort, and may even force us out of our comfort zone, but it is worth it. I also hope you have seen that you can accomplish this feat without changing your current schedule too much.