joining God in the city
Join with us as we introduce some ways in which you can begin some experiments to join God in the city. We will tell stories, suggest actions, pray together and share some insightful musings.
We believe a mission-shaped life is about moving into the neighborhood and connecting with the places and people where we live and work. We need to learn the skills of entering and dwelling both in and among the people where we live and work.
Jesus, who was fully God, made a choice to also become fully human and live among us. He did so because He wanted to connect with humanity — through incarnational living. He engaged in everyday living. But He lived differently among us.
As followers of Jesus, with God’s Spirit in us, we are called to living in the ways of Jesus, to live as Jesus did in our world. To do everyday living but to do it differently…to live with purpose.
We read in 1 Corinthians 9:19-23, The Message:
Even though I am free of the demands and expectations of everyone, I have voluntarily become a servant to any and all in order to reach a wide range of people: religious, nonreligious, meticulous moralists, loose-living immoralists, the defeated, the demoralized–whoever. I didn’t take on their way of life. I kept my bearings in Christ–but I entered their world and tried to experience things from their point of view. I’ve become just about every sort of servant there is in my attempts to lead those I meet into a God-saved life. I did all this because of the Message. I didn’t just want to talk about it; I wanted to be in on it!
So let’s get started …
1. Commit to walking your neighborhood at different times of the day. What is going on? Who are you seeing or not seeing? Keep a journal about what you see, hear and learn as you continue to pay attention to your local rhythms.
2. The image of the invisible God. Commit to taking 1 photo a day for 30 days of the “image of the invisible God.” Submit your photos to Mosaic via email
3. “I have friends on Facebook but don’t know anyone in my apartment building.” Where are the opportunities for you to connect with what’s happening in your building or block? Connect!
4. So who took the largest step to engage culture? Ok, you can give the sunday school/bible study answer … but why would your answer be correct? Read about it.
5. Join people in their social activities: Go cheer for a student at a sporting event, go hear someone in concert, go to someone’s art show, check out the Nashville Art Crawl, get out of your norm and encourage someone with your presence.
6. Spend some time praying that God might exalt His name in the city and some time mediating on this passage. –Psalm 46:10
7. Find and join a local group through meetup.com that will keep you connected with people with a common interest.
8. Join a club, class or group in your community around something that interests you. Commit to getting to know some different people in your community.
9. Be a part of a cultural exchange through First Friends at Vanderbilt University. First Friends facilitates cross-cultural exchange through friendship, connecting Vanderbilt University international students with Americans on and off campus.
10. Where you live matters. When followers of Jesus are faced with a decision about where to live, we need to add a few things to the list of values that go into our decision making process. Read a great article discussion where you live.
11. Intentionally cross cultures in your city? Do life within a culture that is outside of your norm.
12. How you live does matter. Read a great article on our role of presence in the city.
13. Co-plan a street garage sale with your neighbors. Give the $$ to a local charity. End the day with a BBQ on your front lawn/apt building.
14. Become a regular – if you are not a regular already, commit to a local coffee shop, breakfast spot, family diner, etc. and show up on a regular basis.
15. Read “The Everyday” a fantastic article on reading your local context by John Davies. Where is God in the everyday all around you?
16. Spend some time praying that God will burden His people for those in this city without Christ. — John 4:35
18. Do you have unused green space that belongs to your city/town in your neighborhood? Talk to your municipality about starting a community garden.
19.Go visit some local real estate agents and ask how you could welcome neighbors into your area.
20. Have an international student over for dinner. Sign up for EAT, A program that provides international students and scholars a chance to enjoy American food and culture with a local family.
21. Join your neighborhood watch or association.
22. Talk with your neighbors and find a creative way to support a cause connected to your neighborhood – organize a bake sale to raise funds for local shelter, plan a bike rodeo for kids to raise funds for local school based charity, etc.
23. Spend some time praying that God will burden His people for those in this city without Christ. — John 4:34-38
24. Local police stations will often take you for a night ride and tell you about your community after dark (http://www.police.nashville.org/citizen/index.asp).
25. Cook a meal or bake some goodies for someone on your block – new parents, new neighbor, someone recuperating from illness/accident, book club, and block party….
26. Watch a refreshing challenge to reengage our communities – TED Video with Dave Meslin: The Antidote to Apathy. What should you change as a result?
28. When I think of “risk” or “danger”, I think of ??? ….. Read an intriguing article on the Risk & Adventure in following in the ways of Jesus.
29. Spend some time praying that God will extend his Kingdom in this city and a few moments mediating on this passage. –1 Corinthians 9:19-23
Tell your story in the comments…