Engaging Your City

I'm realizing lately that a huge part of any worthwhile ministry is engaging the city in which you live.  It's so easy to only focus on the people at your church or even in your specific area of ministry because, if we're honest, there is enough going on there emotionally and spiritually to zap us dry if we aren't relying on the strength of God and the guidance of his Spirit.  And I am SO guilty of not proactively engaging my city outside of the local church. I'm big on boundaries.  I've got work time and I've got free time.  I've got family time and me time.  I guard these boundaries tightly.  But part of me wonders...am I hiding behind these self made boundaries?  Is this one way I am keeping myself from engaging my city?

I know getting rid of these boundaries all together would be very unhealthy, so that won't happen.  BUT adjusting them would, I think, be the best move as I go forward.  I want to be an active part of my city, engaging the culture both in critique and support of it.  I want to know more deeply what makes our city move, what causes it to change, and how its culture affects the people that live here.

As an introvert this is a slightly scary proposition.  It means I have to actively pursue and engage people...a lot.  But I've been here for 2 years now and I'm desperately behind where I should be.  I don't even know my neighbors' names, how sad is that?

I don't want to engage my city as a crusade to become more extroverted.  I want to engage my city so I can more effectively communicate the Gospel.

I think I'll start by meeting my neighbors.  That seems like a good place to start right?