What’s my neighborhood trying to tell me?

October 9, 2019

When was the last time you stopped to listen to those around you? When was the last time you intentionally sought to hear from your friends, neighbors and family members about what’s going on in their lives and their spiritual condition? Every person in your community has different needs. Why not try to find out what they are and meet those needs? Ultimately, by trying to help with their earthly needs, you can show them how each and every need is met eternally in Christ Jesus.

The following are a few components that can draw us closer to our mission field simply by being willing to listen to those around us. The goal is to find ways to build bridges with lost people in order for them to find God through the gospel of Jesus Christ. This will involve prayer partnering, connecting opportunities, community needs and resources.

Prayer partnering
Prayer partnering is moving beyond the walls of the church and praying with those who work and live in our community. Who do we need to be praying with outside of our church context with kingdom-focused prayers? Try starting with local officials, police officers, principals, teachers, dentists, business owners and anyone else who might be active in your community.

Take the time this week to reach out to various community leaders and spend time showing you care through the act of prayer. You may think this is unusual, but Paul exhorted us to pray in this way for the gospel to have influence.

Have you ever thought about what your community needs are? It’s important to note that the needs of your community are not just physical, but spiritual as well.

Paul said in 1 Timothy 1:1-2, “First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, for kings and all those who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good, and it pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (HCSB).

Community needs
Have you ever thought about what your community needs are? It’s important to note that the needs of your community are not just physical, but spiritual as well. MissionInsite has four questions to help evaluate how you can best serve your community:

1. What are the needs in the community? List three significant life concerns in your community.
2. What are the ways in which your congregation is similar to the people in your area?
3. What are the ways in which your congregation is different from the people in your area?
4. Given the discoveries above, list the next steps necessary to share these realities with your local church.

Resources
The last step is looking at resources. What resources are available? You can look to your local church, Baptist partnerships at the state, national and international levels, and other local ministries for resources that would be useful for your church and your community. Based on the information you are able to gather, what are the necessary resources needed to accomplish what God is leading you to do? Start by listing the various ministries and adjacent resources. How do your existing ministries match the pressing needs of the community? What do you need to stop in order to start something that God is leading you to do in your mission field?


by Chuck Campbell 
Strategic Focus Team  /  Baptist State Convention of North Carolina

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