NCIS Week 5 – Neighbors

I mentioned on Sunday that our team is reading Andy Stanley’s book “Deep & Wide:  Creating Churches Unchurched People Love to Attend.”  In the chapter titled “Rules of Engagement” he talks about clarifying your “win.”  In anticipation of those who want to argue the terminology I invite you to step back for a minute and just think with me.

The mission Jesus gave to his disciples just before his ascension into heaven was to “go” and “make disciples.”  Regardless of what connotation or spin you put on the word “win” it carries with it the basic understanding of accomplishment.  Whether it is to place first in a contest or to excel at a task there is a sense of accomplishment.

I think that the win for North Star Church is when one of us “fosters a new relationship with someone or cultivates an existing relationship to grow in friendship.”  Ultimately this is for the purpose of sharing our lives with one another and hopefully the life of Christ within each of us.  (I hear all of your quiet amens…)

So why aren’t we winning on a more consistent basis?  Simply put, we have forgotten what it means to be a good neighbor.  Isolation has become our lifestyle of choice.  We connect with people through Twitter, Facebook, via text or email and think that we are connected.  One author states that we don’t work out our disagreements with our neighbors while standing at the backyard fence.  Nope…we let our lawyers take care of all the talking for us.  While we think we are highly connected we are actually highly isolated.

So let’s buck the trend; let’s start a campaign to be good neighbors.

1)  Your kids could be good neighbors – take 5 plastic Easter eggs filled with candy and an invitation to Easter Sunday worship; they could hand them out to 5 of their neighbor friends

2)  Youth – can you do the same or something similar to invite your friends to Easter?

3)  Adults – what if we walked with our kids to deliver them or maybe did a small Easter week basket of some kind for the neighbor on your left, the one on your right, and across the street.

Simply put, we need to break out of our current status quo and be better neighbors (and yes, I am preaching to myself as well!)

Why – because our win has next to nothing to do with reaching wayward Chester (Christmas and Easter Only Christians) and almost everything to do with reaching out to those who are far away from God and His life of love and grace.

Honestly – every single one of us loves to be a winner!  We love to root for a winning team and we love to be on a winning team!  So, what must each of us do to see North Star “win” and to be a part of “winning?”  Fostering a new or growing relationship with a neighbor is an excellent start!  I hope we will all commit to this simply because our future rests upon it.

Thanks for considering my thoughts on this – blessings for your journey!

About Jim Hoffman

Pastor, teacher, leader, novice blogger, wanna be author and Christian conversationalist. Passionate about environmental architecture - creating spaces where people can foster new or growing relationships with each other and God. Currently leads a faith community on Ward Parkway in Kansas City and happily married to Margaret. Blessed with four adult children and two grandsons.
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