Meeting The Neighbors

 In Out

My friend, Mike, runs a homeless shelter. As we were serving together one Saturday, he mentioned that most of the people ended up there because of isolation. They became distant from their family, friends and neighbors.

Getting to know your neighbors is not just a great idea, it is a great commandment.

When we lived in Arizona, it was too easy to open up the electric garage door opener (from the safety of my car), go into the house and close the doors behind us. Even the backyards all had seven foot concrete walls. Heaven forbid, should we see our neighbor, let alone talk with them. We decided to throw a neighborhood get together. We went door-to-door and introduced ourselves. We were greeted by blank stares that spoke volumes, “Why are you doing this?” We invited them to a get-together at our house, the response was amazing. People were hungry for the fellowship. On that night we had 20 people show up, which included a pilot, a Jew, 2 single dads, a left-wing radio talk show host, a prison guard, a programmer and a pediatrician all in our home talking about life stuff…getting to know one another.

Jesus didn’t command us to become acquaintances, he commands us to love. This means more than just knowing a name, it means having an actual relationship with them. That is what happened in the next few years. These folks remain some of our best friends. In the last couple years we have been invited back for birthday parties, weddings, dinner invites, bar mitzvahs and a vacation in Colorado, where the pilot and his family now live.

The Neighborhood EquipKit is a tool for helping you get to know the people on your block. Sort of a building blocks tool. It isn’t hard. It isn’t fake. The beauty of this kind of ministry is that it’s simple and genuine. Simply love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and love your neighbor as yourself. Meeting people where they are at and loving them there.

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…and see for yourself how God might use you/your family in your own neighborhood.

Swen Swenson
Cross+Generational Director

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