Memorial Day marks the unofficial beginning of summer and with that comes one of the most enjoyable and easiest opportunities for mission I can think of: the cookout. 


Cookouts provide a setting that lends itself to natural and light-hearted fun. They’re great for building relationships with people you see around Church or your neighborhood. Your joyful witnessbackyard cookout through fun and good food can establish trust and even provoke curiosity about faith. Some people are pleasantly surprised to find out that Catholics are fun to be around!


If you’re married, consider cookouts an excellent occasion for you and your spouse to grow in communion through a joint apostolic mission. Talk with your spouse about people whom the Holy Spirit is bringing to your attention. Who have you been running into a lot lately? Who haven’t you seen for a while? Who are your kids’ friends? Do you have neighbors whom you could build or grow a relationship with? Do you have coworkers you gel well with? Who needs to be drawn into more relationships and connections within the broader Catholic community? Who seems a bit far from God?


Fun is everyone’s love language—kids through adults. Create a playlist and invite everyone to queue or request songs. Get out a volleyball net or a frisbee. Or just have great conversation. Get some good beer or have a signature cocktail for the occasion. It doesn’t have to be a huge production—perhaps just snacks or desserts and drinks on the patio. The most important thing is to be warm and fun. 

Afraid to invite people over? Read our article about the power of opening your home to others exactly as it is.


When the day comes, spend some intentional time in intercessory prayer for the people you’re going to be with, and pray for yourself for warmth and light from the Holy Spirit for your conversation.  And when they come over, ask lots of questions. Make the conversations about them—their hobbies, how they met, plans for the rest of summer, ideas for summer fun, etc. Stay away from “issues” and anything that could turn adversarial or awkward. Don’t be weird.


Finally, don’t be afraid to gain the reputation of being the “party house.” In fact, what a great apostolate to have! Hey, someone’s gotta do it for the Kingdom! 


Peter Andrastek is a Ministry Consultant at the Evangelical Catholic. The Evangelical Catholic’s mission is to equip Catholics to live out the Great Commission. Learn more.


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