For Our Neighbors: From Inviting to Belonging

Orange Leaders | 11/14/2017 | Paula Dannielle
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Being for our neighbors is the gospel in action. It says we are for the people God loves above the positions that we take on issues that divide us. We are for people that look differently, think differently, and behave differently than we do. Being for our neighbors says that we are for God’s love being shown to everyone! No hidden agendas. Without preconceived notions. We are simply, “FOR THEM!” We know that sometimes it takes a party to show our neighbors that we are indeed for our neighbors. But how do we invite our neighbors to the party? And if we invite them, how do we show them they belong? If you want your church to be for its neighbors, and you agree that sometimes it takes a party, here’s some help on inviting your neighbors to the party and helping everyone to belong.

Get to know your neighbors!

Pastor - Percent - Energy - Work - People

As an introverted pastor, I spend 90 percent of my extroverted energy at work. I completely understand why talking to more people at the end of the workday is difficult for some of us. But, what if your smile to that neighbor is the only smile or hello they will receive all day? Would we be willing to give it then? We have to remember that what we see on the outside of everyone’s life isn’t always an accurate representation on what is going on behind closed doors. The love Jesus requires of us for our neighbors reaches beyond our comfort zone, recognizes that every person has real problems, and is willing to engage people where they are and beyond ourselves. Because most of us are creatures of habit, we pass the same people and patronize the same stores frequently. We can influence our neighborhood and get to know our neighbors by...
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