Posts Tagged ‘community transformation’



Hebrews 10:24,25

And let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another — and all the more as you see the day approaching.

Galatians 6:2

Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

Matthew 22:37-40

37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

In my previous post, I wrote about how the Church, as a whole needs to step outside of the church and minister to the communities surrounding their buildings. It will take more than that, though, to transform our communities. We, as Christians, need to see ourselves as true missionaries of God, and step outside of our homes and love our neighbors to Jesus.

I know how hard it can be to get involved with neighbors. We have jobs that drain our energy, leaving us with no time and to exhausted to meet the neighbors. Maybe, you find yourself worried about getting a door slammed in your face if you step out of your comfort zone. It could happen. That didn’t stop Jesus. He went all the way to the cross because of His love for us. He didn’t stop because of one door being slammed in His face. You know, most of the time, that person on the other side of the slammed door is the one who needs love and compassion the most. It may sting, but don’t give up.

I have listed 12 ways to meet the neighbors and build community. You may have to push through your exhaustion, make the time and step out of your comfort zone, but you can do this. You may be the only way one of your neighbors will learn about Jesus. Don’t let busyness or fear keep you from being a missionary in your own neighborhood.

12 ways to love your neighbors to Jesus:

1. Have a “get to know you” open house for the neighbors on your block. Go door to door to the neighbors on your block and invite them in person. Let them know how much you want them to come. Give them a handwritten invitation and a sincere welcome. This gives you a chance to get to know your neighbors in an informal setting and helps you “break the ice.”

2. Reach out by doing an intentional act of love once a week. Mow the lawn of an elderly neighbor, fix a meal for a sick neighbor, run an errand for a single mom. You get the idea. Keep your eyes open. God will provide plenty of opportunities for service, if you are willing to serve.

3. Ask your neighbors if they have any prayer requests. It may take some time for some to trust you with their “stuff”, but be patient in building relationships. Be sincere in following through. Don’t just give it lip service. Make these requests part of your daily prayer time. Your neighbors WILL know and your witness to them will grow immensely.

4. Start a block Bible study. Once a week or every other week, invite your neighbors to get together at your house for a meal and a Bible study. It can be something as simple as covering the basics of Christianity. You don’t have to be an expert on the Bible. God is looking for willing vessels. If we had to be experts to start serving, not many of us would qualify.

5. Get to know the kids on the block. You can often get to know the neighbors through their kids. If your neighbors know that you care about the safety and welfare of their kids, they will be more willing to let you into their lives. Be that safe place that a troubled child can go to.

6. Show compassion. Don’t be your neighbors judge and jury. You have not walked in their shoes. We are all broken and have baggage. Listen with a heart of compassion and show love and mercy to your neighbors. Be willing to help in any way that you can.

7. Organize Summer potluck street parties. Claim the street, gather the lawn chairs, and fire up the grill. Take over the otherwise “off-limits” street as a space to draw neighbors together.

8. Start a community garden. If there is space on your block, start a community garden. Get everyone involved and allow everyone to be a part of a harvest celebration.

9. Start a block newsletter. A newsletter doesn’t have to be time consuming. It can be a simple list of activities, needs, good news, prayer requests, prayers that have been answered, even a short bio of a different neighbor in each issue. It can be a monthly newsletter and get the neighbors involved in the publishing of it. Keep it simple and it can be a wonderful to tool in keeping everyone involved in what’s going on in the “hood.”

10. Celebrate the Holidays together. To many people are alone on the Holidays. Depression rises to all time highs around the Holidays. Open up your home for Holiday parties. Be respectful of other beliefs. Keep in mind that not everyone celebrates Christmas. We never want to push anyone away.

11. Welcome new neighbors. Welcome new neighbors within a day or two of arrival. Let them know that they can depend on you if they need anything.

12. Empower your neighbors. As your neighbors get to know each other, get them involved in helping each other. As you discover your neighbors skills and abilities, empower them to use those skills to serve each other.

Community transformation will happen, if we are willing to become missionaries in our own back yards. Transformation begins with each of us as individuals, as we reach out to our own communities. As communities are transformed, cities are transformed, and states are transformed. See where I’m going with this? It starts with you. It starts with me. Put aside the excuses and pray for God to give you a passion to serve your neighborhood. God can and will transform nations. Are you willing to be a missionary to those on your block?









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