Adopt a local watering hole or equivalent. It might be a café, the beach, or a certain park in your area. Obviously, it will be different for every context. Identify a local place in harmony with your group focus, and hang out their regularly. The key is to move from identifying with the locals to actually becoming one. This is exactly what Jesus did through the incarnation. Shop at the same places. Historically, the marketplace was a hub for meaningful connection. We need to recover the marketplace as a setting for connecting with others and building community. Try to purchase your food and household items at the same store every time. Whether that’s the local butcher, grocer, fishmonger, supermarket, or hardware story. Don’t chase the bargains but commit to supporting your local shopkeepers and producers. You’ll develop familiarity not only with the staff and owners, but also with the other customers. Imagine if everyone in your mission group did this! Enjoy your shopping, and view it as a great opportunity for mission.(95-96)
Interestingly, a friend of mine and I were recently at a local watering hole discussing Hirsch’s point of shifting from identifying with the locals to actually becoming one. How do we do it? What will it look like? It appears Hirsch’s book points us in the right direction.