Do We Even Know our Neighbors’ Names?

neighborhood

Daniel Montgomery and Mike Cosper describe an “aha moment” in their ministry:

At Sojourn, we gather large on Sundays and small in community groups and in homes throughout the week. One of our community group coaches went to visit a community group a while back, and found this tendency at work.It was a newer group at a campus that had recently launched, and the group members were eager to do something big and evangelistic. They wanted to coordinate a fall festival or cookout at the campus, inviting the neighborhood around the church to attend. The coach listened, nodding, and finally interrupted.

“These are all great ideas, but let me ask you something. What’s the guy’s name in the house next door?”

There was a long and awkward pause. Finally the group leader spoke up. “Uh, I’m not sure.”

“How ’bout across the street?” the coach asked.

This time the leader knew a first name, but when pressed further, he didn’t know the wife’s name, the kids’ names, or what the neighbor did for a living. The group had a big vision for reaching the “lost,” but they didn’t have affection for the people living just next door.

The coach, wisely, identified something all too common for us. We’re happy to put together projects and throw big events at our churches. We’re much more hesitant to befriend neighbors, share life with them, and be witnesses to grace in our ordinary, everyday interactions.

—Daniel Montgomery and Mike Cosper, Faithmapping: A Gospel Atlas for Your Spiritual Journey (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2013), 183.

Matthew 22:39: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1433532530/thegospcoal-20

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About savedbygrace1976

Mark Chanski (author of Manly Dominion and Womanly Dominion) has labored as a full-time Pastor since 1986 in churches in Ohio and Michigan. He has been Pastor of Harbor Church in Holland, Michigan, since 1994. He holds a Bachelor's degree from Cornerstone University, and a Master of Divinity degree from Grand Rapids Theological Seminary. He teaches Hermeneutics for the Reformed Baptist Seminary in Taylors, SC. Mark is married to his wife Dianne, and has fathered their four sons and one daughter, whose ages stretch from 30 to 20 (born 1983 to 1994).
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