I recently asked a group of folks to complete this statement, "When we are for our neighbors...". It's kind of a bold statement that really requires a bold answer. My intent with this request was twofold: to see how folks viewed their neighbors and to gain some ideas on ways that my church could help further embrace this lifestyle.
I use the word lifestyle because to me, it's just that; a lifestyle. It's a way of living life. Thinking about others needs before my own. The local church reaching beyond it's walls into the neighborhoods it surrounds. An opportunity for families to engage with those that live next door or down the street over or even around the block.
The responses I received were from predominantly from folks where I currently serve but there was a good bit of response from friends and family in other communities and states. I'd like to share a few of their responses and perhaps encourage you to ask this question of your social media audience or church audience: When We Are For Our Neighbors....
Gary replied with "...their needs become our priority rather than our agenda". Boom, right out of the gate, Pastor Gary Snowden is dropping some great truth for us. We've literally got to put the needs of those around us to show them Jesus. It's got to be able Jesus 100% and not about us.
Justin mentioned that "communities and lives are changed." He's right! It's that simple. Being #ForOurNeighbors has the potential to change whole communities.
#Kidmin guru Tom Bump inserted "We will do whatever it takes for them to know Jesus". We've got to be willing to get uncomfortable to reach folks!
Amy, a middle/high school teacher wrote, "we are following God's command to love them as ourselves." Be who God created you to be! It's definitely the best you, and your neighbors deserve to see that.
Chad Overton, NextGen Pastor at The Met Church in Houston shared this, "We are being intentionally obedient to God's Word." Our community will see that in us as long as we are being intentional with our actions.
Several others shared a similar thought "being the hands and feet of Jesus." It's really that simple. Just serving others!
I hope that you've gained some great insight on being #ForOurNeighbors. If you are in any form of family ministry, I'd encourage you to consider attending the Orange Tour as they share more resources and tools for the church to be #ForOurNeighbors. You can learn more at: orangetour.org. They've got close to 30 dates/locations across the US where you and your team can learn more about this impactful initiative.