Can we create safer and healthy neighborhoods? Can our communities become spiritually transformed? Then it must start where we live. If we don’t affect change in our neighborhood, some one else will and chances are we won’t like the results.
Can we transform our community by driving away from the neighborhood we live in, to minister to people one day a week, who live somewhere else? If we look carefully we can become aware of the congregation of people who are constantly around us seven days a week. We call it a neighborhood and we barely notice it falling apart until it’s too late. That’s usually when we move, leaving the problem for someone else. Unfortunately the problem just follows us to our next neighborhood because all along we were the solution we didn’t take responsibility for.
The grass is not greener on the other side, but where we cultivate it. Touching peoples lives is the same way. The Christian life is not about where we go to Church nor is it about Church buildings or meetings, yet for most of us, that has become the center of our Christian experience.
If you are a church goer, Pastor or Church planter who wants to make a difference, step out and make your neighborhood your church. You will automatically be surrounded by a congregation of people. Be prepared to experience first hand, real transformation unfold before your eyes, including yours. Your life will never be the same again.
Recently Oak Leaf Church in Cartersville, Georgia went around town asking people why they don’t go to church. These are the same people who live where you and I live. They may never walk into a church door, but we “the church” can walk into their’s. My neighbors love their families, are thoughtful, intelligent, hard working, and worthy of my time to listen carefully and spend time with them as Jesus would. There is more to people’s answers than what’s being said.
These is an excerpt I found at Mars Hill church. I’m using their quotes because they just said it better than me.
“We believe the Church is God’s chosen vehicle for creating change. Change happens locally. It happens when people act where they are with what they have. Change happens gradually. It occurs when people do a series of little things well over a long period of time. As Christians, we love to talk but we don’t necessarily like to get up and out and get it done. It’s one thing to proclaim Christ on Sunday morning; it’s another to get wrapped up in your next-door neighbor’s life on any given day… What can you do? Place yourself in front of people. Put yourself squarely in the middle of their lives…”