Category Archives: Neighboring

Serving in a Snow Storm

snow-shovel-100208-02

Jesus is a servant.  The way that he serves shows his love for us.  Jesus said his very mission was to serve us and demonstrate God’s love by saying:

“For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Jesus is the good king who came to serve, who showed his love by serving us to the point of death on a cross (phil 2:6-11). It’s through Jesus service that the lie of Satan (the lie that said God doesn’t love us) is dispelled when we see that God loves us and will do anything to provide for us the very best of life and life to the full in his kingdom.

If Jesus is the Good King who came to serve, and if you are baptized into his name, you are his servants sent into the world to display the truth of God’s love through your actions–to show the world that God loves them through YOUR actions.  So how can you sere in the snow storm?

  1. Check up on the elderly and the infirm.  See if they need anything and then provide what they need.  Offer to drive to get their groceries or medicine if needed. The roads might be driveable but many won’t want to take a chance or might be to unstable to walk in the snow or ice.
  2. Shovel, snow blow, or plow your neighbor’s walk or drive way…even if they could do it themselves.
  3. Make a large pot of soup and bring some containers for the neighbors around you.
  4. Share some of the milk, eggs, and bread you started hoarding the moment you heard we were going to get snow. (Sorry, couldn’t resist).
  5. If you’ve got a good vehicle and confidence in your driving, offer to pick up a coworker or take them home if the roads are bad.

Finally, Ask the Spirit who you can serve and what you can do for them.  Use this as an opportunity to build relationships with neighbors you haven’t seen all winter or haven’t met yet.

Picture found here

A Story of a Gospel Community

A while Back Seth McBee, of Soma Communities and the GCM Collective, wrote an article entitled, “A Story of a Gospel Community.”  Read how God used him to start a missional community, engage many neighbors, reach some for Christ, and send them out as disciples.

“In two weeks, in a suburban town outside of Seattle, we’ll celebrate God’s grace and the Spirit’s work through baptizing a new disciple of Jesus. This is the story of how a neighborhood can look like the book of Acts, where disciples are made and we teach and preach from house-to-house, an example of how to make disciples in our sphere of influence… in today’s context.

We moved into our housing development 7 1/2 years ago, and for the first 6 years, we didn’t know anyone who didn’t live next to us. I’m serious. I didn’t know the guy across the street. By the way, his name is Trevor, and he’s getting baptized in my backyard. But, for the first 6 years, the extent of our reaching-out to our neighbors was leading a youth group and handing out bibles door-to-door and singing Christmas carols in the dark because people shut off their lights on us. Sometime while standing in the cold singing ‘O Come All Ye Faithful,’ I started to think, ‘Maybe we need a different modus operandi for bringing the gospel to my neighbors.’…” Read More on How God turned everything around here

 

13 Ways to be Missional on Halloween

Halloween is a great time to meet new neighbors.  If you have kids, you have the permission to go door-to-door and introduce yourself to your neighbors.  If you don’t have kids, many neighbors will come to you seeking sugary candy.  Yet you can give them something much better, friendship.  How can you bless your neighbors this Halloween?

Here are some thoughts on how you can make Halloween serve Gospel purposes of getting to know your neighbors:

  1. In the week before, Have a Community Pumpkin carving party at your house.  You can even have all the kids judge the pumpkins and give out prizes.  Have some games, snacks, and beverages available.
  2. Halloween is important to kids.  Make sure to hand out candy.  Turn some lights on so kids know you’re home and so parents know you’re welcoming.
  3. Buy some great candy and don’t be stingy with it.  When I was a kid, I knew who gave out the full candy bars and who gave out the grandma candy that tasted like rotten peanut butter.
  4. Make a big deal about the kids’ costumes.  Have fun and make them feel special when they come to your door.
  5. In many places, including Jackson this year, it’s going to be pretty cold.  What can you do to help freezing parents and children warm up? How about free hot Apple Cider or Hot Chocolate?  In addition to free drinks, do you have a portable bonfire pit?  Set it up in the front yard and invite people to sit down and warm up before they move on to the next street.
  6. Why just hand out Candy?  Give them a little toy from a dollar or party store.  Glowsticks or bracelets would be a great hit!
  7. Learn the names of any of the adults that come by.  Ask them where they live and make a little small talk.   Try to remember the names of any kids that you see playing in the neighborhood as well.  Write down the names and addresses of the people you meet so you can remember them later.
  8. How are you going to follow-up with the people you meet?  How about handing out invitations and having a Halloween after party for the Adults to have some festive  adult beverages and snacks?  Or, how about inviting people to a party on the following weekend?
  9. Create a community facebook page and hand out invitations to everyone who comes by.
  10. Team up with the neighbors you know.  Be the really fun groups of houses so that you draw more  people down your street.
  11. Go trick or treating with at least one other family and pick up more in your group as you walk along.  It’s a great opportunity to get to know mom’s and dads better as you walk along.
  12. Decorate a little so kids think your house looks fun and inviting.  Don’t go overboard and get too scary or parents might not be happy and the kids might not stick around long enough to talk.
  13. Invite your Missional Communities to join you in  handing out candy, going trick-or-treating, or anything you’re doing on Halloween.  You’ll have a greater chance of connecting with other neighbors with a couple more people by your side.

No matter what you do this Halloween, pray that God might open doors to good conversations and friendships and that, through His Spirit, they people might see a hint of God’s Kingdom and His love.

If you have any other ideas, feel free to comment below.

You might also like:

6 Ways to be Missional with the Super Bowl

7 Ways to be Missional this Christmas

9 Ways to be Missional this Thanksgiving

4 ways to be Missional this Easter

Picture found here

Transforming Community Through Community

How much does Community matter to our neighborhoods?  Watch this short video from Incommon:

None of our current Missional Communities are in “At risk” neighborhoods.  While MC West is maybe interacting with people in poverty as they meet in Jackson Park, neither of our initial MCs are really in neighborhoods of poverty.   Yet I think that the message in this video can teach us something about community that is pertinent to our mission to bless and the greater community in which we meet and live.

Think through following questions:

  1. The video said, “People are the foundation on which a strong neighborhood is build.”  Do you know the people in your neighborhood?  If not, how can you take a step to get to know more of your neighbors?
  2. How are you investing in the people of your neighborhoods?
  3. Is there anyone else in your neighborhood already engaged in helping their neighbors and fostering community?  If so, how can you partner with them?

Check out Incommon on their work of building Community to lift areas out of poverty.

I found the video on Communities First Association’s blog.

Missional Training # 9 – A Coca Cola Community

Sometimes a commercial, song, or film can really capture a great idea.  Check out this Coke add below. 

  1. What kind of community or gathering does the video depict?  Is it small or large?  Is it inclusive or exclusive? 
  2. How does the community from the commercial reflect the yearning of the human heart?  How close is it to the community of the church?
  3. How effective would the Christian message be if Christians blessed their neighbors and acquaintances with such a community? 
  4. How often do you gather with the people who you know?  Have you held a “Bridging Event,” a community building party for the express purpose of getting to know the friends and acquaintances of your friends?

How can you create this community? 

  • Consider throwing a party, only don’t invite your closest friends.  Instead, invite mainly acquaintances and people you barely know.   Maybe ask them to bring someone else.  Focus on getting to know everyone better and connecting people together

Or

  • Consider working with a few friends or neighbors to throw a party.  Have each person invite people they know well and not so well.  Ask those people to invite a friend as well.  Again, focus on getting to know people and connecting others. 

In either case, You’ll be bringing the better wine.  You’ll be blessing those around you. This might establish or strengthen relationships.  It might prepare the way for later chances to share the gospel. 

For my Core Group,  for next time read the Gospel-Centred Life Chapter 9, Decisions.

The Art of Neighboring

We make evangelism way too hard.  Yes, some of us are called to go over seas and share the Gospel in a foreign land.  Yet what about the unchurched around us?  God’s given each of us a mission field in our own neighborhoods, work places, & community hangouts.  Check out this video:

 

Here are a few questions to think about:

  1. How many of your neighbors do you know?
  2. What can you do to learn more about your neighbors?
  3. How can you build up your neighborhood to show the love of Christ?

Ask a neighbor from your community to help you organize a block party.  Involve some other Christians from the neighborhood, your missional community, Small Group, or church.  Don’t bait and switch.  Don’t invite people to a BBQ and then hold a revival.  Rather, take the time to show interest in others, learn their stories, and deepen relationships.  Later opportunities might provide for a Gospel witness.   

Here’s a great Neighborhood block party kit which will help you think through every aspect of planning a block party.

Check out the source of this information, Building Blocks:Rediscovering the Art of Neighboring

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