Earlier this year I polled over 200 Christians, asking this question: "How important do you think Jesus' command to 'Love your neighbor as yourself' is?" Not surprisingly, 99% of those responding to my poll said it was "important" or "very important."
My follow-up question, however, proved to be discouraging. When asked, "How often do you pray for your neighbors?" nearly half of the respondents reported that they never pray for their neighbors.
There seems to be a disconnect between our perceived responsibility to our neighbors and the actions we take toward our neighbors.
That is why we are going to invest the next two Sundays in a series called, "Neighborshould."
Because we’ve lost the art of neighboring in America.
Perhaps it is because we live in a transient culture where 35% of us will move within five years. Maybe it is because we’ve replaced face-to-face time with our neighbors with Facetime on our iPhones. For whatever reason, standard operating procedure for most Americans seems to be pulling in the garage at the end of the day, enjoying our out-of-doors time in our privacy-fenced back yards, and leaving in the morning to do it all over again. If we do encounter a neighbor, it’s usually by chance. We mowed the yard or washed the car. We picked the newspaper up off the driveway.
But there should be more to neighboring for a Christian.
At the conclusion of this series we will be offering a four-hour seminar that will take you even deeper into this important topic. Scheduled for October 4 from 8:30 - Noon, we will give you all the tools you need to become God's ambassador on your block. For more information, or to register, check out the information on the website, and then register to attend.
You’ll hear from people who are already doing this in their own neighborhood and will learn strategies to address the fears that you might face when you think about how to engage with your neighbors in ways that will help them write the next chapters in their faith stories.