A few weeks ago I asked church members from our church and several others to take a brief survey to help me understand how we are doing at loving our neighbors. We've talked a lot, lately, about what it means to be good neighbors, both as South Lansing Christian Church and in each of our own neighborhoods. We do this because our vision is to "reconnect our community to God's Story one person at a time." There is no better way to do that than in the neighborhood where God has planted each of us to serve as ambassadors.
So how are we doing?
I asked 210 people the following: "Jesus taught his followers to ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’ (Mark 12:31). How important do you think this commandment is for Christians to follow?” 99% of those who responded said that it was either "Important" or "Very Important." That's the good news.
Here's the not-as-good news:
90% said that they pray for their six nearest neighbors less than five times a month. Nearly half (47%) said they never pray for their neighbors!
- Nearly one-fourth of the survey takers have no idea if their neighbors are Christians or not.
- Only four out of ten know the names of half of their six nearest neighbors.
So what does that mean? Bottom line: We say that loving our neighbor is important, but if we don’t know their names, don’t know if they’re Christians, and never pray for them, then are we really loving our neighbors?
We're going to talk about that for two weeks beginning Sunday, September 21. Then, on Saturday, October 4, we'll be presenting a seminar called "Neighbors Should" that will help you learn how to begin engaging with your neighbors in ways that can help them write new chapters in their faith stories. More details are available in the events section of our website.