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Recreation is defined by Google as, “activity done for enjoyment when one is not working”.

If you are reading The Borough, chances are you are a driven, action-oriented kind of person who thrives on making changes for good in your city.

And for those of you I have described accurately with that statement, recreation can probably sound like a waste of time.  Who can justify spending time on something for enjoyment when real things need to be done?

But the fact is that recreation is actually part of the mission of the church!

Culturally speaking, Americans value leisure (at least theoretically).  Our affluent society holds up hobbies and special interest skills as unique and intriguing.

And we as Christians can use that to honor Him as we work to apply the principles of Scripture in our real, every day lives.

Work to apply the principles of #Scripture in our real, every day lives. Click To Tweet

Recreation Provides a Natural Way to Reach out to Neighbors

recreation chessThis is just a really practical way to reach out to neighbors.  If you’re trying to build a relationship with someone, it doesn’t make sense (culturally) to jump right in to heavy discussion topics that force people to show vulnerability immediately.

So instead, find common interests and participate in them together.

Watch the big game together.  Put together a pick up basketball game.  Play Settlers of Catan.  Hold a wine-tasting.  Home-brew beer or spirits together.  Share your collections with each other (stamps, coins, pokémon cards, etc.).  Help people with DIY projects.  Host a Texas Hold ‘Em game.  Run a campaign of Dungeons & Dragons (if you’re into that sort of thing).

Whatever you do, be willing to enter into other peoples’ interests so that you can show them that you value what is important to them.  That’s what relationships are all about.

And when the time is right relationally, you can talk about important things – personal things, private things, spiritual things, inviting to church, etc.

Recreation Provides a Natural Way to Reach out to the City

recreation pokerIt’s not just neighbors with whom you can build relationships through recreation.  The city needs your participation, as well.

Coach your child’s parks and rec soccer team.  Teach a community pottery class.  Participate in a local government committee (many of them are specific in demographic groups or even special interest groups).  Host a community poker tournament.  Give guitar lessons.  Hold a book club.

You’ll meet all kinds of people at these kinds of group meetings.  They are people who need relationships as much as you or I.  They are people who need the love of Christ – just like you or I.

And if they already have Christ, it’s possible that they can help in the mission – participating with you in the church, helping to bring in resources, further networking, etc.

The #city needs your participation. Click To Tweet

Recreation Provides an Avenue for Wider Networking

recreation sailingAnd finally in the way of building relationships, recreation allows you to meet people all over the country, and sometimes all over the world.

How often is golf the game of choice when executives want to vet a newcomer?  Other kinds of sporting competitions also bring all kinds of people from all over – sailing, marathons, even things like the Highland Games.

But you don’t need to have such an expensive (or disciplined) hobby in order to network through recreation.

Go to national conventions (maybe for acting, coin collection, or even something like Comic Con).  Participate on panels for special interest groups.  Host a website for your fellow-hobbyists.  Maybe just contribute in discussion boards.

Whatever you do, when you find common interests, you can begin to build relationships.  And perhaps those regional or national connections are already Christians, and can participate in the mission of the church in more than just a believing way.

Maybe they have financial resources and can participate as a benefactor.  Maybe their ministry goals align with yours and you can forge a partnership.  Maybe you work together long-term following that original connection which was made over model airplanes.

Recreation Is Part of God-Prescribed Rest

Last but not least, rest is, simply put, required by God.  Doing things you enjoy and are skilled at are part of that rest.

Yes, rest means actual physical rest, and spiritual rest which is time in the Word, loving your family, and simply obeying the Scriptures.

But part of it is you doing the activities which bring peace to you.  Cathartic activities help you to get your head on straight, so that when it’s time to work, you’re not already overwhelmed with stress.

So look at recreation as an important part of your life-routine.  At least in America, it is part of our lives.

But most importantly, it should be used to honor God, just as any good activity can when you have the right motivation.


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Also published on Medium.