Buy a dog and other quirky ideas for sharing the faith with your neighbours
An essential part of being a Christian is sharing our faith with others but how many of us um and ah about how to actually do it, often to the point of not doing it at all!
Pastors Ben Connelly and Bob Roberts Jr have dedicated years to teaching Christians how to reach their communities for Christ and they have lots of simple ideas at hand to make finding the opportunities for those "God chats" just that little bit easier.
Some of their ideas are pretty quirky - like getting a dog just so you can chat to your neighbours when they happen to be in their garden - but the idea behind them is the same: to get talking to the people around us.
Their ideas are laid out in their new book from Moody Publishers - A Field Guide for Everyday Mission: 30 Days and 101 Ways to Demonstrate the Gospel.
"Walk your dog when your neighbors are outside. Strike up conversations. Invite them over. No dog? Here's your chance to guilt trip your spouse into getting one," they write.
If that seems like a no-goer for you, how about one of their other unconventional ideas, like tipping generously even if your server does a terrible job.
Or how about idea number 20 to keep your garden fences short - tall fences can distance and privatise you, they reason.
Some are more obvious, like hosting get-togethers at your home that tie into big events in the calendar, or choosing to sit at the bar as opposed to a more private table or booth, pray that God opens a door, and if he does, take the opportunity to introduce yourself.
"There are hundreds of places God sends us on everyday mission. Many are out of our comfort zone, in the proverbial darkness, and on someone else's turf. But whoever they are and whatever their turf is, that's where we go and make disciples," the authors explain.
They conclude: "Some Christians are given the gift of evangelism, but all Christians are given the mission of making disciples. We're hoping to help those who are more scared than gifted see that by the power of God, living on mission isn't as hard as we often think."