There’s a rumor going around that Latter-day Saints don’t like doing missionary work. They think it’s scary, they’re hesitant, they avoid it. This is false. We love missionary work. We just lack ideas that fit our personal style. Not everyone can slap a stranger on the back and say, “Hey, Buddy Boy, why don’t you come to church with me?” There actually are people who can do this and succeed with it. But most of us find this approach uncomfortable, if not hair-raising, so we need a few more ideas. Then, once we have them, we’re more than happy to hasten the work.
So here are 25 painless ways to start the ball rolling, and share the greatest news since the Resurrection of Christ, himself: His restored gospel upon the earth.
1.Anytime someone moves into your neighborhood or apartment building, take them a welcome basket filled with goodies and info about local places you recommend, even medical referrals. And, of course, your ward location and meeting times.
2.Plant more than you need in your garden, and take the extra produce around the neighborhood.
3.When you buy tickets to a movie, a sporting event, or a theatre production, buy an extra ticket or two, and find a nonmember to bring along.
4.Host a weekly neighborhood potluck at your home—you actually save money doing this because all you have to provide is one main dish and the paper goods.
5.Organize a Handyman Day for a local widow—get a crew over there to fix the leaky faucet, tighten the hinge of a door, even paint her house or clean up weeds.
6.Whenever a clerk asks how your weekend was, or what you’re doing this coming weekend, tell about church or a baptism.
7.Offer to help an acquaintance search their genealogy, with help in the Family History Center at your ward.
8.Ask nonmembers to teach something at Relief Society activity nights, or ward events about finance, emergency preparedness, burglary prevention, fitness, self-defense, and so on.
9.Invite neighbors to traditional ward events, such as a Fourth of July pancake breakfast, a Trunk-or-Treat Halloween Activity, a nativity display at Christmas.
10. Pray for someone to share the gospel with before you go into a building or store. Then slow down, and look for that opportunity.
11. Invite friends to join in Boy Scouts and athletic events sponsored by your ward.
12. When neighbors are ill or hospitalized, ask if they’d like a blessing. Many people will accept this, thinking, “Can’t hurt, might help,” and then will feel the Spirit as the blessing is given.
13. Sponsor a music festival that includes performances by non-member groups and individuals.
14. Sponsor a Community Family Fair with speakers about marriage, parenting, and the importance of family. Have classes about how to help kids get good grades, how to enrich your marriage, how to have a family council, the best way to give allowance to kids, how to manage cell phone and computer use, how to deal with aging parents, and how to hold Family Home Evening, even if you’re not LDS, and so on.
15. Bring a Primary Children’s Chorus to a rest home.
16. Hold an Interfaith Dinner and invite local leaders from other churches. Give awards to those who have contributed to the community in a particular way, or done exemplary humanitarian work. Could expand into an interfaith project, such as beautifying a local shelter, a charity drive to benefit a chosen cause, establishing an alternative to gang activity, etc.
17. Foster community spirit by having a contest—best decorated car on the Fourth of July, best lit house at Christmas, best poster that promotes education, a chili cook-off, a flower garden contest, and so on.
18. Have a Job Fair/Career Day—either for high school kids or for adults seeking employment. Ask someone to teach people how to interview, and how to write a resume. Have local leaders speak about business, banking, government, law, real estate, medicine, etc., and tell what it takes for a career in their field.
19. Look for people who are alone for Thanksgiving, and invite them to join in your family’s feast.
20. Decide to be the most caring neighbor on your block. Help with babysitting, water plants and feed pets when folks travel, mow lawns, attend kids’ performances and ballgames.
21. Give Family Home Evening resource books—even old ones—to young families.
22. Do you know nonmembers who like to sing? Invite them to join the ward choir.
23. Invite nonmembers over for a casual dinner, a dessert night, or just a night of playing board games and eating popcorn.
24. What is your ward doing right now, for humanitarian service? Whether assembling hygiene kits or book bags, making quilts or gathering food, invite nonmembers to join in a good cause.
25. Share LDS movies, videos, and church websites that might interest your friends. And don’t forget to share Meridian Magazine articles they might enjoy, as well!
If you have some great ideas you’ve tried, be sure to leave them in the comment box!
Hilton’s LDS Nursery Rhymes is hot off the presses and can be purchased at the BYU Store, or at this link.
You can find her other books here.
She is also the “YouTube Mom” and shares short videos
about easy household tips and life skills at this channel.
And be sure to read her blog.
Hilton currently serves as a Relief Society President.