Here is another story from the road. I’m collecting stories of new things churches are doing to join God in their neighbourhood. #1neighbourhood
The Grand Bay Baptist Church youth discipleship group, that meets on Sunday nights, was challenged to come up with ways that they could bless their neighbourhood. Throughout the school year they had spent a lot of time talking about God’s big story, particularly about God creating a people to bring blessing into the world. We are each blessed to be a blessing. As the students were challenged to come up with ways they could bless their neighbourhood they complied a long list on the whiteboard! One of the ideas was baking something to give to those who serve their community to say thank you.
This group of teenagers met on a Sunday and baked up some delicious cookies. Then a few of them met up again on a Monday evening to deliver the cookies to the Fire Department, who they know met every Monday evening. They told the Fire Department how thankful they are for their service and presence in their community.
The Fire Department appreciated the cookies and even more appreciated being thought of and thanked.
A few days later one the leaders in the church had a technician in their house for their internet/cable and it turned out the technician was also a firefighter in the town and had received the cookies. It led to a positive connection and great conversation!
There are so many ways we can bless others and show God’s goodness.
As people taste and experience God’s goodness through us it shows them a glimpse of God’s grace and Kingdom. It is part of what I have seen God uses to open people’s hearts to journeying towards God and being ready to hear more about God.
Blessings our neighbours does not need to be big and complicated in can be:
- baking some cookies to say thank you
- taking extra time to talk to our neighbours
- paying for someone behind you in line
- inviting someone new out for coffee
- taking the time to make a treat and thank you for those who provide services in the community
- giving a school a needed boost of supplies
- volunteering at a breakfast club or community shelter
- cooking meals for someone going through a difficult time
- mowing someone’s lawn that finds it a major chore
- carrying someone’s groceries up to their apartment/house for them
- having someone new to the area in for a meal
- taking someone who is sick some soup or orange juice
- buying double your child’s school supply list to provide for another kid
- buying sports equipment for the kid that can’t afford it…
In short, it’s allowing God to use you to give someone else a taste of His love and care for them.
It means being a great neighbour to those around you where you live, work, study and play.
Love overcomes all kinds of barriers, as people in our neighbourhoods begin to see we, the church, care for them.
Bless your neighbours, without any thought of return.
Do regular things that allow others to get a taste, a glimpse, of God’s deep welcome and embrace He is extending to them.
We are blessed to be a blessing.
I’ve been wrestling with a different word to use than “blessing.” It seems so Christian sub-culture-ish….and yet I can’t come up with a better word yet, that has the same meaning of wanting good for another, giving someone a gift with no thought of return, making their world a little better and allowing God to show His heart of being “for” others….
If you have another word, please let me know.
BUT the more important part? Go and do it – go and show God’s kindness to others, with no thought of return.