“Carpe noctem” Using the Night for the Glory of God

Thursday is for Discipleship

Night skyCarpe noctem, “Seize the night.” The days are getting shorter and the nights longer. The wind and wetness of October have arrived. Fall is here.

Here in the midwest, that means many of us will be spending a lot more time inside for the next 6 months. 

Why not make some plans now to do one thing a month. One thing every 30 days, who can’t do that? So here’s a grab bag of ideas to “Carpe Noctem” (Seize the Night):

  1. Have a soup night for a few friends from church. Enjoy your fellowship around the warmth of your home and the joy of Christ. Try to include the newest family you can find, or one of the widows of the church, or … (let the Spirit of God guide you.)
  2. Have a soup night for a few of your neighbors. 
  3. When you are burning brush from trimming your bushes and trees, invite some friends over and roast some hotdogs, or marshmallows.
  4. Invite your friends over to watch the Bears game. 
  5. Have a classic movie night in your living room. Pick an old film and share the evening with friends and popcorn.
  6. Start a Bible study on the life of Christ and invite everyone on your block to participate. Keep it short, maybe 2-4 weeks, and Christ centered. 
  7. Have Christmas wrapping party. Make an investment and invite your neighbors to your house for free paper, Christmas music and a lot of fun.
  8. Bundle up and take a prayer walk around your neighborhood. Pray for God’s blessing upon your neighbors and an openness to the gospel.
  9. When the snow is forecast, take the whole family out and shovel the neighbor’s driveway first.
  10. Go and serve in one the local food pantries. 
  11. Put the local high school basketball team on your schedule and support the local community. See what God does with both your own heart and your conversations.
  12. Do a cookie exchange in your neighborhood for Christmas. See where the conversation takes you.
  13. Offer to watch kids for a young mom in the neighborhood so she can grocery shop, Christmas shop, or go on a date with her husband.
  14. Turn your garage into a workout room and invite your fitness-enthused neighbor to use the space.
  15. Start a mystery book reading club and meet once a week to discuss the plot and structure. Pick “the books of _____________” approach. Some suggestions for authors? Dorothy Sayers (Murder Mysteries), G.K. Chesterton (Father Brown Mysteries), Bret Lott (a contemporary writer featured on Oprah but a solid Christian), C.S. Lewis (the Chronicles of course, but a space trilogy, and Till We Have Faces are great options), or for much lighter fare, the Jan Karon books (The Mitford series). All of these will lead to natural discussions of Christian themes.

Really, there is no limit to ideas that you might try to reach out to your neighbors and friends both inside and outside your church family. I would love to hear your ideas or examples of things you have done to carpe noctem


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