3. Start a neighborhood spiritual discussion group.
Last year my wife and I used a reality series we produced at Dare 2 Share, as a kind of spiritual discussion group. We invited several couples from the neighborhood, gathered together at a neighbor’s house, watched the 30 minute episodes and then talked about it. It was more of a discussion than a “Bible study.” Everybody was encouraged to share their beliefs and ask questions. Nothing was off limits. As a result we had one family come to embrace Christianity as a relationship with God and not just a religion. This family is now plugged into a local church, growing in their faith and reaching out to other neighbors with the love of Jesus.
Recently we launched a new discussion group and had something amazing happen last week. My ten year old son, Jeremy, had gone to his friend’s house to play last Saturday. He invited his friend’s single mom to attend the discussion group. She reluctantly agreed.
The next day at the discussion group she showed up late and sat through the meeting quietly. At the end she piped up and shared with the group that she had recently been burned by a faction of Christians. She admitted that she had been at a spiritual crossroads and was seriously starting to question Christianity. The day before she actually went out and bought a Koran to start evaluating other belief systems outside of the Christian faith. “That’s when” she shared, “your boy came, like an angel sent from God, to call me back to Christ and invite me to this group.” We all got chills as we listened to her share the power of what had taken place on her doorstep the day before.
This is the sort of thing that happens when we love our neighbors. We didn’t send our boy on a mission to go and recruit her. But Jeremy had been a part of our family prayers for our neighborhood. He had seen the power of the gospel unfold as a result of other neighbors coming to Jesus. My 4th grade boy was simply joining the spiritual block party that the Holy Spirit was already throwing in our neighborhood.
The Holy Spirit wants to throw a block party in your neighborhood too. He wants to use you to be the invitation. Get to know your neighbors, love them, pray for them and gently nudge them closer to Jesus. Love them as your neighbor now and win them as your neighbor in the city called “heaven” someday.
It all starts when we decide to be more than State Farm neighbors. Because just being there is not enough.