“As I have lead a MC, I have grown in trusting the Lord and praying more.” David, Missional Community leader.
David is married and works for a company here in Owensboro. He and his wife Cynthia have hosted people into their home as they begin to live life together as a missionary family to Owensboro. Learn to be a Neighbor #whereisthegospel Click To Tweet
The Rudd’s live on a small street and have had two outreaches in order to get to know and serve their neighbors. The first was just before Easter. Their group worked together to stuff easter eggs with candy. David then went door to door meeting several of his neighbors as he asked if they would be willing to hide the easter eggs in their yard. If so, they would then place a little flag in their yard to let children know they had eggs for them. All but one neighbor participated. As the kids looked for eggs, the Rudd’s and some friends mingled with their neighbors. This went very well and was followed up by inviting everyone on the street to a cookout a few months later. The idea this time was for each neighbor who chose to participate to move their grills onto the street and cook whatever they wanted. Then all the neighbors would go around and sample one another’s food. This also went well and David has been able to not only model what being a good neighbor looks like, but has also been personally challenged to grow as a disciple of the Lord Jesus.
“I have learned about my own need for other Christians in my life. The support of a good group can mean so much for my daily walk.” David said.
“Knocking on peoples door for the first time was stressful since a lot of people look at you like your going to try to sell them something and are somewhat standoffish or skeptical at first. I know I would be. If I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes I wouldn’t have believed any of the stories about people wanting and needed community.”
We call them Missional Communities because we believe that a name can impact results. This particular name isn’t essential to us. We may change the name at some point, but for now the emphasis on community and mission has been helpful. We all too easily find ourselves being unsocial. But as David has learned, we are made for community. We need other people in our lives on a consistent basis. The problem is that people are also the source of so much conflict. Instead of having healed from our wounds, we are prone to bury our hurts and hide from relationships. This can be true in almost any setting.
David goes on to say, “I have been most impressed with how receptive and eager our neighbors have been to participate in getting together. And the coming together of the people in the neighborhood outside of the events is really encouraging.”
There are people all around us, in every neighborhood, that are living life apart from community of any kind, certainly without Christian community. We don’t necessarily need a Missional Community to go out to them and learn to love and serve them as Christ as served us, but Pleasant Valley’s Missional Communities offer a group of followers who are committed to learning together. Families can see a good example to follow and find a safe place to connect and then bring others into. We were created for community. So were our neighbors. Reach out to them, you will often enjoy them reaching back. We were created for community. So were our neighbors. Reach out to them, you will often enjoy them reaching back. #whereisthegospel Click To Tweet
Here are a few first steps in being a better neighbor:
- Introduce yourself. If you have never introduced yourself, there’s no better time than the present. Take 20 minutes on a weekend and go for a walk. Ring a door bell or two or catch people while they are out. Try this line, “We just wanted to introduce ourselves and let you know that if you ever need anything please ask.”
- Homemade cookies. If knocking on doors just to talk is too much, bake some cookies and hand deliver them to a few of your neighbors.
Once you met a few neighbors take a next step:
- Have a cookout. Have a small cookout and invite a neighbor or two over.
- Met up somewhere. If there is a local event going on see if they are going or if they would want to meet up there.
What have you learned about being a neighbor? Please share in the comments!