On Mission In A Local Community

Andrew and Kate Smith* wanted to intentionally be present among the lost in their neighbourhood, but they needed a team. They met the Halls* and were encouraged by a shared vision. After prayer and conversation, the Smiths accepted the Halls’ invitation to move to a suburb where the Halls had the responsibility of a church.

They sold their house, found a new home and moved in with their three young children. Throughout the lengthy process, Andrew and Kate involved their kids in this shared mission, which led the kids to take the initiative. As the Smiths were walking to church, one of the kids asked to invite a new friend to go with them as they passed their home. The kids have also been talking about God with their friends, which has led to one parent seeking conversation about God to help him respond to his kid’s questions.

For the Smiths, local life centres around the kindergarten and school, giving them natural, consistent connections with parents when they meet for drop-offs or pick-ups. As they’ve gotten to know people, they invite families to share meals, deliberately inviting only one other family at a time because the conversation can go deeper with fewer people. People have commented that they didn’t have many friends before these get-togethers because their lives only centred around immediate family.

As they plant roots in the neighbourhood, they are seeing God at work. Because the Halls are leaders at the local church and have a home church, people know they’re Christians and are curious about what that means. The Smiths maintain intentional one-on-one encounters with their neighbours and desire to see spiritual generations grow from the people they’re investing in.

Tips for Neighbourhood Ministry 

  • Pray – for the people in your neighbourhood, Promises/Scripture, prayer walks.
  • Find a team—with others, within your partnership/family, and with not-yet-believing neighbours who seek the “peace and prosperity” of your community.
  • Set roots – be in it for the long haul.
  • Look for opportunities and respond to what and who is in front of you.