Check out this post from Sarah and our children’s ministry!
Several times throughout Scripture, we read the command “love your neighbor” (one of them being Mark 12:31). We know that this command encompasses not just those living on our block, but all the people God has placed in our lives. However, I want to apply this passage specifically to those who live in close proximity to you. While this passage is not exclusively referring to your literal neighbors, it does include them. I think often in our individualistic society, we no longer place an importance on developing relationships with our neighbors. Maybe we find it easy to love our waitresses, colleagues, and/or visitors at church, but we don’t love our neighbors well simply because we don’t know them. We would like to challenge you to build relationships with your neighbors because your neighborhood is one of your most strategic mission fields. Here’s a few reasons why:
- Location, location, location! You don’t have to cross the ocean to share the Gospel with your neighbors; you only have to cross the street. You don’t need to raise financial support or conquer your fear of flying. Just step outside and boom, there’s your mission field. Right outside your doorstep are people who desperately need to hear that Jesus died on the cross and rose from the grave to save them.
- Common ground. By sharing a neighborhood, you share a lot. Maybe there’s construction on your street that is a pain. Maybe you frequent the same park. Or maybe you have a pesky squirrel problem. Whatever it is, you have an easy conversation starter.
- Easy maintenance. Once you have established a relationship with your neighbor, it is easy to keep it up. Go ask if he wants help building that shed. Send your kids over with some bubbles when their kids are outside. Sit on your porch and wave. Go borrow a cup of sugar. The possibilities are endless, because once again, all it requires is crossing a street.
- You are where they are. For the most part people choose to be around like-minded people. So if your neighbor doesn’t have a relationship with the Lord, it’s likely that none of their friends do either. Your family might be the only people in their lives who can share the Good News of salvation through Jesus Christ with them.
It’s getting warm outside (Praise the Lord!), so now is a great time to wander over to your neighbor’s yard as they plant some new vegetables in the garden. One great way to love your neighbors is to host a Backyard Bible Club. RVC does all the prep work for you. All you have to do is round up some kids and use the prepared materials to tell them God’s beautiful story of redemption. I can’t think of a better way to love your neighbors than to teach their little ones about God’s love for them.
If you are interested in learning more about Backyard Bible Clubs please e-mail Sarah (Sarah@RedVillageChurch.com)