I love winter. I love the cold air, the quiet beauty after it snows, and the many times snuggled up with the family by the fire. I enjoy having hot chocolate and watching a movie, listening to Christmas music, and eating baked treats. Winter is great!

However, when the weather begins to change and spring starts to roll in, I’m reminded of some of the wonderful things about this new season. I get to fire up the grill and make hot dogs, brats, and burgers. I get to start mowing the lawn (some might not enjoy this, but I think it’s great). The grass turns green, the leaves start coming out, and even some flowers begin to sprout. Spring is a great season too!

Though there are many wonderful things about spring, the best may be the increased number of opportunities to connect with people in our neighborhood and at the park. With warmer weather, more people are outside, which gives us many chances to have conversations and reconnect after not seeing each other quite as much during the colder months.

Every follower of Jesus is called an ambassador for Christ, which means we have the privilege of representing Him to the people all around us who are far from God. Sometimes the most difficult part of the mission of making disciples is finding places to connect with those who don’t yet know Jesus, but spring opens many doors.

Here are two practical suggestions for ways to take advantage of this spring for the sake of the Gospel:

  • Invite your neighbors and friends over for a cookout. Everyone is excited to get outside and begin eating summer food after being cooped up inside for several months, so invite those who are far from Jesus to join you on your patio as you fire up the grill for the first time this year. You are excited to get outside and enjoy some good food, and so are they! Don’t do it alone, but invite others to join you.
  • Be intentional about spending time in places where you can connect with people who don’t yet know Jesus. This will differ for each person depending on your context and life stage. There was a time when going to Clippers games or the golf course would have been a natural spot for me to meet people, but that time has passed. Now, with three kids, going to playgrounds, taking family walks, and hanging out at the zoo are great places to connect with other young families. Consider where you can intentionally spend time this spring to meet people who are far from God.

What are some of the best ways you have found to connect with people who are far from God during the spring months? Warmer weather means wonderful relational opportunities, so how will you take advantage of them?

Dustin Speaks is the Mission Mobilization Pastor. He and his wife, Lauren, arrived in Columbus in the fall of 2012, after several initial ministry experiences. Dustin previously served as an associate pastor in South Dakota and as a missionary to university students in Berlin, Germany. Dustin studied history at Ohio University, where he met Lauren, and was involved in campus ministry with Cru. After graduation, the Speaks went to Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (Chicago) to complete a degree in Intercultural Studies. He enjoys playing nearly all ball sports—basketball, golf, and soccer are his favorites. Dustin and Lauren have three young children.