I remember reading an article referencing a thought from the mayor of a Midwestern city. The majority of the issues that our community is facing would be illuminated or drastically reduced if we could just figure out how to become a community of great neighbors. Relationships are more effective than programs because they are organic and ongoing. It is simply obeying the second great commandment.
Matthew 22:36-40 Master, which is the great commandment in the Law? (37) Jesus said to him, You shall 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 great commandment. (39) And the second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. (40) On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.
As we engage in our mandate to be “God’s family of disciples together on His mission” we need to have a shared desire to become great neighbors. God sets His family in the middle of society to be the “salt of the earth, the light of the world, a city set on a hill” (Mt 5:13-14). Engaging our neighbors is important in this process.
Newhall Christian Fellowship in Wyoming Michigan recently hosted a neighborhood garage sale. It helped them get into the neighborhood around their church building to meet and serve their neighbors. It also lead to a follow up block part in Mike Young’s neighborhood. Here is their account of what happened.