What does Dwelling 1:14 do? We train leaders in how to disciple their people to be missionaries in their own community.
Simply put, we are about discipling missionaries.
Over the years we have learned that the process for this must be kept simple or it won’t stick.
If it is simple, it is sustainable. If it is simple, it can be assimilated into a person’s busy lifestyle as a blessing and not another drain. If it is simple, it can be replicated by more and more people.
So at the core of the Dwelling 1:14 training is a simple, sustainable process that enables people to join Jesus on His mission – whoever they are and wherever they are – and show others how to do the same.
To that end, Dwelling 1:14 trains people to 1) enjoy other people and 2) to seek, recognize and respond to what Jesus is already doing in the lives of the people we are enjoying.
In order to position people to do this in their everyday lives we advocate 5 simple practices and 2 environments which have been found to be very effective at positioning people to enjoy other people and to seek, recognize and respond to what Jesus is already doing in their lives.
In this blog, over the next several weeks, we will unpack the 5 practices and 2 environments so that you can put them into play in your everyday life and find yourself joining Jesus on His mission.
One last note of introduction: what you’re about to read won’t do anyone any good unless you do something with it. Like a wise person once said, “All the beautiful sentiments in the world weigh less than a single lovely action.
We will start this series of blogs with one of the two environments, which we call “Neighboring.” A Neighboring Environment is any opportunity we create that helps foster friendship between “neighbors” or awakens a sense of community in a “neighborhood” (by “neighbors” and “neighborhood” we certainly mean the network of people who live near us, but we also include any network of people with whom we have regular contact). Neighboring puts us into position to enjoy people, develop authentic friendships, and, in time, to begin to recognize what Jesus is already up to in the people’s lives.
Neighboring cannot manufacture results, but it provides the context or environment within which Jesus can use our authentic friendships for His own results. Think of it this way, which is better soil for Jesus to work with? Us enjoying the people who are regularly around us or us ignoring the people who are regularly around us?
What are some simple ideas for creating neighboring environments? Here are some ideas:
1) Have a cook out and invite your neighbors. July 4 is a perfect opportunity.
2) Have a fire in the fire pit, provide the ingredients for S’mores, and invite your neighbors.
3) At work, look for someone who is regularly overlooked and underestimated. Invite them to lunch with you and one or two other employees.
4) Participate in gatherings hosted by others, like HOA functions or parties thrown by other neighbors. Go to community gatherings like festivals, art shows, and city celebrations. Be open to talking with people. Ask yourself, “What would be Good News to these people?”
5) Give out baked goods to neighbors and, if they invite you to stay and talk, take the time to linger.
6) Invite neighbors to a happy hour in your driveway or an ice cream party.
7) Do a food drive or invite your neighbors to join together and somehow make a difference. Is there someone in the neighborhood or workplace going through a season when they could use a blessing?
8) Invite neighbors or co-workers over to watch “the game.” The NBA finals are on this weekend and so is the U.S. Open.
9) Invite neighbors or co-workers to a wine tasting party. Have everyone bring their favorite vintage and share what they like about their choice.
10) Start a biking group in your neighborhood or invite neighbors to regularly power-walk with you.
11) If your child is involved in a school group (like band, or a sports team, or a drama group), invite those families over for some fun.
12) Start a guys night at a local pub.
One final point, Neighboring Environments can be planned events like these ideas on our list. They are intentional gatherings we create for the sake of authentic friendship and to be in a position to watch and listen for what Jesus is up to in peoples’ lives. But most of the time Neighboring happens as spontaneous opportunities for us to make meaningful contact with the people around us. With that in mind, we can intentionally put ourselves into better position to have those spontaneous but meaningful moments.
Here are some ideas:
1) Find reasons to be in your front yard rather than closed up in the house or apartment. Watering flowers, weeding, sitting on the front porch, etc. puts you into position to see who might wander by.
2) When you stop for your morning coffee, don’t go through the drive-through. Stop and go inside. Be aware of the people around you. Look for people that just “happen” to be looking around as you are. Smile. Look for people who are regularly there when you are. Eventually introduce yourself.
3) Walk your dog when you see others are out walking theirs. There are few easier ways to meet people.
4) Be a regular at the neighborhood pool, community center or park.
5) Be quick to offer assistance to neighbors who need a hand with a project.
6) Offer to babysit for weary moms or so that a young couple can have a date night.
7) Be a “regular” at a lunch spot. Start to get to know the wait staff and other “regulars.” Tip well.
8) Let your kids play in a park-league. Strike up conversations with other parents.
9) Have a regular game-playing time out in the front yard with the neighborhood kids. Kickball, whiffle ball, basketball, touch football, tag, water balloon fights and more.
What are your ideas? Please, share them with us.
Remember, keep it simple. Keep it focused on the people. And watch for what Jesus might show you.
Rev. Greg Finke, Executive Director, Dwelling 1:14Rev. Greg Finke