Meeting Our Neighbors

For the past couple of months I have been planning for the congregation to meet the neighbors.  Individuals who I have become friends with over the past 3 ½ years who live in the neighborhood were invited to come and have a cup of coffee with us on Sunday evening.  The purpose was for us to hear their thoughts about the neighborhood.

Located beside our church building are five high rise condominium/apartment buildings.  In one condominium a flyer was posted inviting people to join us.  The night came and when we were to start at 6:30pm the only people in the church basement were members of the church.  No one who I invited was present (and yes, some of them said they would show up).  Finally, a few minutes late a husband and wife from the condos show up and one of my friends.  Three of our neighbors is better than no one!

We gather around a few tables, drink some coffee, share in some homemade apple crisp, brownies, chocolate chip cookies, and of course some fruit and vegetables.  Introductions were made and we started a discussion about our neighborhood.  Before I say what we learned I have to say that we started the evening apologizing.  We apologized to our neighbors for not being good neighbors.  We told them we were sorry that we lost touch with the neighborhood, that we lost touch with what was happening in the lives of the people and that we wanted to somehow find a way back into the lives of the people in the neighborhood.  Following our apology we started to learn about the neighborhood.  Here is what we learned.

  1. Many seniors live directly beside us.  From our visitors it seems that a good number of these seniors are widows.
  2. Young families are moving into the condos and apartments.
  3. One of the apartment buildings is co-op housing (government subsidized), which is filled with single parent families (mostly single moms).
  4. Many of the seniors feel threatened to be outdoors after dark.

As we learned about our neighbors we asked our guest a very important question: how can we serve the neighborhood? 

Jesus did not call us to build a building and to sit and wait for the people to come to us!  Jesus calls us to enter into the lives of people.  We have five high rise condos and apartments filled with people; people who are hurting financially, socially, physically and yes, spiritually.  It is our intention to listen to the Spirit of God and discover ways that we can enter into the lives of our neighbors serving them in the name of Jesus. 

 Who knows, maybe we will start a community garden for our neighbors.  Maybe we will start a monthly car repair service for the widows.  Maybe we will start a weekly taxi service for the seniors.  In someway we must now take what we have learned about our neighbors and ask God to open doors for us to serve them and to proclaim his name!

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Published in: on October 22, 2007 at 9:21 pm  Comments (1)  

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  1. What a great way to build a bridge with your community. While at the ACU Lectures I talked to John Siburt who works with the CareChurch (Richardson East Church of Christ). They have a monthly Pit Stop ministry that does simple auto service (oil changes and minor repairs) for people in the community. See the pictures at

    http://www.carechurch.org/resources/photo-galleries

    It was a great ministry idea.


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