Updated: Jul 26, 2022
“You want to be able to not put the full weight of your hopes of engaging people on one particular group, one particular person and one particular area.”
If we want to see God’s kingdom transform our communities, we have to engage the lives of our friends, families, co-workers and neighbors who don’t know Jesus. So, what makes up a good engagement plan? In “Brainstorming Engagement Ideas,” Paul and Rebecca break down what it takes to craft an effective plan for engaging the lost where you’re at.
Plan Quality Engagements
Plan engagements that allow you to maximize your time developing friendships with nonbelievers. The key here is giving yourself a substantial amount of time to have good conversations with people.
Focus not only on getting to know individuals, but whole families and friend groups as well. Building deep, interconnected friendships with families and friend groups will help prevent us from merely extracting spiritually-sharing people from their communities when the opportunity arises to start a Discovery Bible Study or Discovery Bible Group.
Do good works alongside the lost within your community. This can be as simple as partnering with nonbelievers to pick up trash off the street, aid the homeless, or educate children and their parents about cyber safety. Whatever it looks like, we want to serve nonbelievers and serve with them.
Plan A Variety Of Engagements
There are four areas of engagement that we should think about when formulating an engagement plan — Lifestyle, Hobbies/Recreation, Volunteering, and Vocation. A healthy variety of engagements is essential in making progress building relationships with people who are open to deeper conversations.
You want to be able to not put the full weight of your hopes of engaging people on one particular group, one particular person and one particular area.
Lifestyle includes the people we engage with while we go about our life rhythms, where we get our groceries, our hair done, our nails done, where we get our coffee.
Hobbies and Recreation give us the freedom to enjoy our personal interests, whether that’s gardening, baking, fishing, gaming, sports, being in a book club — and seek the lost at the same time if we enjoy them with nonbelievers.
Volunteering focuses on answering the questions, “How can I serve the people around me while getting to know them?” and “Are there people who are serving the community who don’t know Jesus?” Volunteering with organizations that aren’t necessarily Christian is an additional opportunity to be around unbelievers.
Vocation reminds us to engage the lost in the places where we work — our co-workers, bosses, clients, etc.
Prioritize Quantity And Consistency
Developing meaningful relationships with unbelievers requires that we spend time with them frequently and consistently. Your engagements could be ongoing things you do each week, like Taco Tuesdays, Saturday Lunch or Sunday board game nights. Others could be one-off events, like a holiday party, a neighborhood movie night, an outing at your frozen yogurt vendor of choice. The goal is being around the same nonbelievers at least every couple weeks. If we go longer than that, we lose progress and momentum in deepening those friendships. Here are a couple of practical tips for making an engagement plan that has quantity and consistency:
See the same 3 to 5 groups of people over a two week span.
Plan 2 to 3 engagements per week.
Make Engaging The Lost A Lifestyle
Spending time with lost people can’t just be something we tack on to our already-full schedules as a side project we’ll get to if we can. That isn’t sustainable. We need to make intentionally engaging the lost a lifestyle, and to do that, we need to ask ourselves questions like, “What am I going to drop? What is going to stay? What is going to be adjusted?”
If we don’t plan our schedules, our schedules will certainly plan us.
Instead, we must set solid goals and find blocks of time in our schedules to set aside specifically and consistently for engaging unbelievers.
These tips are only a fraction of what Paul and Rebecca cover in “Brainstorming Engagement Ideas”. If you found this information helpful and would like to learn more, be sure to check out the full podcast and the accompanying worksheet at the links provided below. You can use the worksheet alongside the information above to create your own engagement plan, and then you can share that plan with others from the CDM app!
Podcast: How Will You Befriend Lost People This Fall?
In this podcast, Paul Watson and Rebecca Ewing share engagement ideas and how to think outside the box on where you can connect with people who don't know Jesus.