Monday is for Discussion
On Friday I wrote about meeting Barbara. The incident raised a whole new set of issues for what it means to be INTENSELY LOCAL in ministry.
- Personal issues, and
- Neighbor issues.
In the first category are those things related to heart, motivation, and creativity. (Here’s a starter list)
- How do we overcome our own lack of care for those around us who need Jesus and the Gospel?
- How do we stay motivated in the task of being salt and light in the world (Matthew 5:14-16)?
- How do keep from growing weary in our prayer that the grace to believe would be given to our neighbors (Acts 16:14)?
- How do we come up with the ideas that will help us to interact with our neighbors naturally?
- How do we overcome the “fear of men” and become the bold witnesses for the gospel and our Lord that we know we should be?
In the second category are those related to the hyper-individualistic and hyper-private reality of life in America. (Here’s another starter list).
- Many neighbors don’t want a relationship with anyone.
- Most neighbors are suspicious of the motives of neighbors they don’t know who initiate with them.
- Many neighbors are closet anti-supernaturalists. They say they believe in God but they always assume naturalistic causes for most elements of life. They don’t really believe God will intervene in their lives.
- Many of our neighbors have loyalties to perspectives and traditions that sometimes insulate them from the power of the gospel story.
If all of the things that I did for the last 18 years to trying and “crack the nut” of my neighborhood (see the Barbara story link above) were less than effective*, what would be a better “nutcracker?” How do we begin to work a strategy by believers to truly impact our neighborhoods for Christ?
* We have seen one family come to faith, two families begin attending worship, and one man who is engaged in a search for truth with whom I have frequent conversation. Update: He came to faith before he went to be with Jesus last year.