"People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care." — Theodore Roosevelt
Who doesn’t want to live in a more neighborly neighborhood?
Missional work begins and ends with relationship. When Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment is, he responded by saying that there are actually two. First, you are to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. Second, you are to love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:36-40, Mark 12:28-31). This is what we call the “Great Commandment.”
Both of these commandments are about relationship, our relationship with God, and our relationship with other people. The second command flows out of the first. So, as followers of Christ, we love our neighbor BECAUSE we love God, and we love God BECAUSE God loved us first. This is the basics of what it means to be a follower of Jesus: Love God and Love People.
The Good Neighbor Challenge is a simple way for followers of Jesus to fulfill the Great Commandment.
THE GOOD NEIGHBOR CHALLENGE
PRAY that the Holy Spirit will open your eyes to see the opportunities around you.
PURSUE at least one opportunity each week to relationally connect with someone outside of your church relationships (this can be a neighbor, a co-worker, a fellow student, or even a stranger) and then show them that you care.
CELEBRATE by sharing the story with another follower of Jesus who is taking the Good Neighbor Challenge. Or, share your story using the form below.
It's that simple!
As you begin building relationships with your neighbors, the hope is that you will, meet some needs, develop new friendships, and make your neighborhood more neighborly. If that’s all that happens, then it’s a win!
This is because you will be fulfilling the Great Commandment to love God and love your neighbor. And as you continue being a good neighbor and building trusting relationships, trust that the Holy Spirit will give you opportunities to share Jesus with your disconnected neighbors.
WHO IS MY NEIGHBOR?
Everyone, of course, but the primary neighbor that God wants to use you to love is the person who you see who is in need (Luke 10:25-37). These neighbors will usually be someone where you live, work, learn, or play. They might live next to you, work with you, go to school with you, play on a team with you, or shop at the same store as you.
And your “neighborhood” isn’t just the people who live on your street, your neighborhood also includes the people who you interact with in these relational spaces—where you live, work, learn, or play. These are the people that God has placed in your life for you to love the way that God loves you and make your neighborhood more neighborly.
HOW DO I LOVE MY NEIGHBOR?
There are many ways to love your neighbor, but it boils down to this: If you see someone in need, fill that need. And the only agenda that we have is to love, help, and serve our neighbor because of the love that God has for us.
I know that this is a really broad answer, so here are a few ideas to help you get started: