3 ways to be a good neighbor

April 8, 2019

A few years ago, my family moved into a suburban neighborhood in central North Carolina. We loved the tree-lined streets, the warmth of the old homes and the idea that our kids would grow up in a picturesque neighborhood.

However, the real reason we moved to our neighborhood was to show our neighbors the love and compassion of Jesus. We moved hoping that God would be glorified and the neighbors might eventually become brothers and sisters in Christ.

In Matthew 28:19, Jesus says that we are to “Go…. make disciples….” We often don’t think of “going” right outside our front doors. Have you ever seen your neighborhood, apartment complex or wherever you live as a mission field? If not, it’s easy to start. Here are three things that you can do this week to be a good neighbor and to be on mission in your neighborhood.

Walk
When we moved into our neighborhood, one of our first commitments was to walk around the block every day just before or after dinnertime. We got to know more neighbors by doing this than by doing anything else. Pick a spot to walk regularly. If you live on a busy road, find a local park or high school track that people walk around. If you are unable to walk, you don’t have to. You just need to get out and get among the “rhythms” of your neighborhood.

Pray for God to see where you live with new eyes. You might be surprised at what you find. You might notice people only go outside at certain times. You might run into people who clearly need to be prayed for. You might discover a hidden need. You may end up inviting someone to grab coffee. Whatever you find, continue praying and make it a regular part of your schedule.

Pray for God to see where you live with new eyes.

Eat
I eat every day and so do my neighbors. It seems obvious, but we started inviting neighbors over for a meal. Sometimes we would have big neighborhood breakfasts on Saturdays where each family would bring a side and we would cook the pancakes. This is a great way to naturally get to know folks in a deeper way. Good food and good conversations go hand in hand. It’s easy to invite others over for a meal or to go out to eat at local food spot if you don’t feel like having them over. Pray that God leads the conversation and your time together.

Welcome interruptions
A mentor once told me that “Jesus always made time for interruptions.” Interruptions are often opportunities in disguise. Does it feel like an interruption to help a neighbor move a couch? Or does it feel like an interruption to share a cup of sugar or an egg? This isn’t rocket science, but if you fill up your calendar to the brim, you won’t be open to interruptions (aka opportunities). That’s where mission in the neighborhood lives — the unexpected conversations, meals and happenings. Don’t miss the opportunities because you’re too busy.

There’s one more thing you can do to love your neighbors. You must love Jesus to love your neighbors. If you don’t love Jesus, your neighbors will just be another task on your to-do list.

After all, the Great Commission of going and making disciples is linked to the Great Commandment, found in Luke 10:27. “And he answered, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.’”

You won’t do it exactly like we do it in our neck of the woods, but no matter how you do it, if you aren’t the missionary to the people in your neighborhood, who will be?


by Evan Blackerby  
/  Collegiate Partnerships  /  Baptist State Convention of North Carolina

Being the church after a disaster

The year 2018 will be remembered by many N.C. Baptists as a year of disaster, and many churches are still without a place to meet. This circumstance provides a unique opportunity to reflect upon the difference between going to church and being the church. The simultaneous...

How churches and families can partner in making disciples

“When I get home, I am going to talk to Jesus!” my redheaded preschooler son called out as we pulled out of the church parking lot after another robust Sunday at church. My husband and I glanced at each other. I responded, “Yes, little love, you can talk with Jesus anywhere at...

Why discipleship works best when churches and families work together

Today there are more resources and programs focused on teaching God’s inherent truth than ever before. More than any time in history, the church is well-equipped with the resources it needs to make disciples. It is certainly true that pastors, leaders and teachers are directed by...

NCMO supports partnerships

There are many parts of Scripture that may seem confusing to readers, but there is one message, spoken time and time again, that couldn’t be more clear — love one another. The message whispered from Genesis to Revelation is to love God and love one another. So what does it mean to...

9 reasons to attend the 2019 NC Baptist annual meeting

“God’s Great Work” is the theme for the 2019 Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSCNC) Annual Meeting and will focus on the Great Commission and the Great Commandment. This year’s event is scheduled for Monday and Tuesday, Nov. 11-12 at the Joseph S. Koury Convention...

How you can benefit from church planter training

Planting a church is not an easy endeavor. It’s not for the faint of heart. Church planters face a variety of challenges and pressures that are often unique to your calling. There’s emotional pressure, financial pressure and not to mention spiritual pressure. These burdens can...

Celebrate ‘God’s Great Work’

It’s hard to believe, but this year’s annual meeting of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSCNC) is only three months away. Planning for this year’s meeting has actually been going on for many months as a group of North Carolina Baptists who make up our Committee on...

NCMO Disaster Relief: Here to help

NCMO Disaster Relief: Here to help Hurricane Florence struck North Carolina in September 2018, leaving a sea of destruction in her wake. The storm’s heavy rains caused widespread inland flooding across the state as major rivers spilled over their banks. Roadways and highways...

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Select Language ^

Share This

Share this with your friends!