7 Everyday Mission Ideas
Is a full-fledged mission trip not your style (or in your budget)? Sarah Grapentine shares a few everyday mission ides that make a difference while keeping you close to home. (This article includes several off-site links.)
1. Frolic for a Cause
When the weekend comes, take mission with you when you go out on the town. Charity events have gone well beyond the traditional Spring Gala and can be anything from wine tastings to movie screenings to skating parties. You’ll meet new people, build community around issues you care about, and still get your night out. Can’t find a bash that interests you? Organize your own: get group-rate tickets to your favorite sporting event and donate the difference. Check your local community calendar or visit www.party4apurpose.com.
2. Meet Julius Caesar and Algebra
All Over Again You don’t have to be a math whiz or history buff to be a great tutor. You do need an hour per week and a solid sense of commitment. For a struggling student, the benefits of one-on-one tutoring are incalculable. Contact your local school board, after-school programs, or your parish or diocese.
3. When the Mission Trip Comes to You
Last year, more than 41,000 refugees came to the United States from all over the world. Start talking with people in your congregation to “co-sponsor” a resettled refugee. You and others can act as a guide, friend, and advocate to help refugees become self-sufficient. Visit www.churchworldservice.com or www.theirc.org.
4. Walk Humbly
Many eco-friendly changes, like installing energy-efficient light bulbs and switching to online billing, are almost effortless. We can continue living a life with all the creature comforts and never truly humble ourselves in our relationship with the Earth. Try going for a walk and picking up one full bag of trash along the way, or find an association dedicated to keeping rivers and waterways clean and volunteer your time.
5. Share the Wealth…of Knowledge
Donate one hour of your professional skills to make someone else’s life or work better. If you’re an actor or trained musician, teach a preacher or a teacher to use his or her voice correctly. Or help a small business or non-profit develop their website, if you’re more technically inclined. The skills you use every day can have a powerful impact on the world. Visit www.vita-volunteers.org or www.npower.org for more ideas.
6. Buy Nothing
Celebrate Buy Nothing Day once a week and clean out your closets, garage, and other spaces at the beginning of every season, if not more often. Taking a day to go without will build your independence from stuff, and cleaning out will energize you and reduce your temptation to buy more than you need. Visit www.freecycle.org.
7. Make Sabbath Sense
Mission is transformative work, and while motivating and rewarding, at times it can be emotionally, spiritually, and physically demanding. Take a day of rest. Renew a spiritual practice or find a new practice to help refresh and energize you. Remember that productive work needs its counterpart in leisure, and there’s a lot of work left to do.
The material is copyrighted and should not be reprinted under any other name or author. However, this material may be freely used for personal study or research purposes.
This article may not be written by an Apostolic author, but it contains many excellent principles and concepts that can be adapted to most churches. As the old saying goes, “Eat the meat. Throw away the bones.”