Thursday, August 7, 2008

Knowing Neighbors

One verse that has revolutionized my life and ministry is John 1:14, "The Word became flesh and lived among us." In essence, Jesus entered into the world by moving into the neighborhood, and he became fully present to every human being he encountered.
With that said, it seems that our mission in life isn't to sit around talking about who our target group is going to be, planning "neighboring" strategies, and forming outreach committees...(though all of that can be good.) Instead, it seems that we (as individual Christ-followers and as faith communities) need to stand on our porches and claim whatever we see as the harvest that is plentiful. Our neighborhoods need to become our mission fields.
I preached on this last Sunday and was convicted that my office is 50 yards from apartment building 1881. Every day I leave my office and I stare at 4 doors connected to 1881. However, I had to make a confession to SVC that I have been preaching here 10 weeks and I haven't met my neighbors.
So yesterday, my friend Andy and I went over to the apartments to make a few friends. We knocked a few doors and my words were basically:
1) I'm the new preacher across the street and I need to apologize that I have been here 10 weeks and I haven't met you yet. I'm sorry.
2) I want to make myself available to you and your family. If there is anything that I can ever do for you please don't hesitate to let me know.
3) Before I leave, is there anything I can be praying for?

We made some new friends and we were given some prayer requests. Please continue to pray for apartment building 1881.


coffeedrinkingpreacher said...

I am such a corner of the room type of person.

However, my neighbors' needs must be more important than my comfort. I have an easier time interacting with people on the street, at stores, etc. BUT, when it comes to my neighborhood, I stay isolated -- deep down, could I be falling into that trap of compartmentalizing my faith?

Thank you for this post. Now I am distracted from my sermon. I needed this!

Ash, Kel & Ella said...

Great post! I appreciate your honesty Josh! Its easy to preach on it (I imagine) than actually doing it.

My brother has always been such a great ambassador of faith in his community. They are always interacting with neighbors who know who they are and what they believe.

Its so easy to come home from work, sneak in our house and stay there until its dark without having one word with a neighbor. I too need to work on this.
Thanks again!