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7 Ways to Do Missions in the Suburbs

4. Mission takes years, not weeks. Adjust your expectations. If you’re going to make a difference, you need to be in it for the long haul. This is where doing MC in the suburbs really shines because your neighbors have to ask the bank before they can go somewhere else. You really want your unbelieving neighbors to find true friendship with your MC. That takes time!

5. Move your Third Place to your home. This is something that is unique to suburbs. A Third Place needs to be neutral, natural and regular. Your home isn’t neutral or natural if you’re trying to reach those at your work. In this case, a restaurant, a pub or something else is more appropriate. However, a home is completely neutral and natural for unbelieving neighbors. We meet in my home at least twice a month for our Third Place meal and it has been incredibly fruitful. We’ve basically fused our Third Place and our Family Meal.

6. Invest in hospitality! Spend time and spend money to get to know your neighbors. Jesus said, ”For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Mt 6:21). In the same way that you don’t really care about a stock price until you invest in it, you won’t care about hospitality until you put some time and money into it. If you invest in this, you will want to see it flourish. 

Hospitality is certainly the most overlooked evangelistic discipline. Hospitality aids proclamation. Over time, we’ve bought folding chairs, large folding tables, outdoor light strings, speakers for music, lots of different beverages, more plates, etc.

7. Don’t forget to be a community. I’ve talked a lot about mission, but you’ll need to invest some time with people who’ve joined your MC. Quality time requires quantity time. Do stuff on the weekends. Go eat wings, fix each other’s homes up, read the same books, take care of each other’s kids, be friends.  

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Jon Dansby is a proud husband to Amelia and father to 3 crazy kids. He grew up in Ft. Myers, FL, but moved to Texas when he got some sense. He has been in ministry for over 15 years, graduated from Dallas Seminary, and currently pastors the St. John AM Campus at the Austin Stone Community Church in Austin, TX. He loves his church family.