Go and Do Right Where You Are

women and men volunteering

Dusting off your passport, getting on a plane, and taking the gospel to another country is always a good way to get out of your comfort zone.

But consider the ways you can stretch yourself right where you are and see God do new things in your neighborhood and city. Why not plan a week this year to do a “staycation” with your family or missions group? Or why not try a “near me mission trip” 1 afternoon a month? You might be surprised what God might show you right where you are.

Where to Start

Before you start, pray for God to give you fresh eyes. When we embark on mission trips to other places, everything is new—it’s as if our brains and our hearts are on high alert for new people and new opportunities. Ask God to give you new eyes to see the people around you as you go to familiar places and do familiar things.

Here are some ideas for things you could try:

  • Choose a place you already go on a regular basis and look for ways to bless the employees. Got a coffeehouse you frequent in the mornings? Take a box of doughnuts or a bag of chicken biscuits to the baristas. This could open doors to build relationships.
  • Connect with area ministries and volunteer. From homeless ministries to crisis pregnancy centers, your town likely has a number of options. Ask your church for a list of ministries in your area and find out if you could volunteer. You could volunteer with a different ministry each day for a week, or if one ministry needs special help, the same one for a whole week.
  • Link up with secular businesses or schools and offer to help. Does your local zoo need volunteers? What about area schools? Offering to help them with yard work or other projects can help to build relationships and give the body of Christ a good name in the community.
  • Find people in need around you. Contact your church or local senior center to learn the names of widows, the elderly, or families in need whom you could help with housework or errands. Making these kinds of connections can open doors for continued ministry.
  • Discover a new ethnic restaurant and try it. Select a restaurant with some type of international cuisine and go there with the intention of making friends with the owners and staff. You could try to learn a few phrases in their language so that you can greet them when you go, or you could ask them to teach you some of their language while you are there. Express interest in their story and their culture, and ask about their family. If possible, share truth with them. Pray for them and plan to go back.
  • Prepare cards or decorations for a local nursing home. If you’ve got children, then get them involved. Create the cards or decorations, then take them to the nursing home and visit with the residents.

Grace Thornton is the author of Unshakable Pursuit and a freelance writer. She blogs at GraceForTheRoad.com.

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