January 6, 2014 by Austin McNair
Happy Birthday to Me!
Today I turned 24, and it has become one of the best opportunities to connect with people that I can remember. My birthday has put me in positions to positively interact with people who I do not normally have an opportunity to communicate with on a regular basis. It has opened up opportunities to invite people into my life and share with them what I am doing. A missional lifestyle involves going out into the world, developing connections, and inviting them back to see what God is doing around you and your community. Your birthday is an excellent opportunity to live this out.
For the sake of my community, and any others who wish to live a missional lifestyle, here are three practical ways to be missional on your birthday:
1. Respond to Every Happy Birthday Comment on Facebook
Remember the days when the little red flag on your Facebook home page would soar up to over 100 notifications on your birthday? I loved that. It was a visual symbol of appreciation from others. Every year I get excited about seeing who puts in the three seconds to write me a happy birthday note. It is a cool phenomenon, but let’s not stop there. This is an opportunity.
When else during the year do you have a more opportune moment to connect back and forth with those you haven’t spoken to in years? This year I am at least writing back to those who commented on my wall by saying that I appreciate them writing to me. For others, I will wish them luck with something I know is going on in their life. However you work it, your birthday is a great opportunity to reach out to those who have reached out to you, even if it is a simple little note.
2. Find Every Excuse to Celebrate
You may not be a party person. I understand that. But celebration does not need to involve balloons, noise-makers, and frosty cake. It may mean inviting some of the friends you don’t see enough of over for a cigar, or for the ladies, a wine and cheese. Maybe you could help prepare a home cooked meal for some friends and neighbors. I don’t know what your style is. Be creative though! Birthdays are great excuses to invite a select group of people into your home.
Birthdays may not be your thing, but being missional is all about finding excuses to connect with those who appreciate and listen to you.
3. Spend Time with Those Closest to You
While there is a “sending out” nature to being missional, you want to maintain a life worth imitating. I firmly believe that there is nothing more attractive than a person who is supported and loved by the community around them. Celebrate your birthday with your family, closest friends, and those you are discipling. In the same way that you would want to be a part of the special moments they have going on in their lives, allow them to have a place in the special moments of your life.
Birthdays may not be your thing, but being missional is all about finding excuses to connect with those in your circles of influence who appreciate and listen to you. Give them some time of your special day. It will mean just as much, or more, to them as it means to you.