Part of what it means to be missional is to be in relationship with the world without a hidden agenda other than to offer the grace of God in Christ. I have been thinking a lot lately about what it means to do this in my neighborhood. Last spring I passed out fliers announcing a "Come and Ask Your God Question" Bible study at our house. No one came.
For most of the 13 years we have lived in this neighborhood I have ignored my neighbors. I was busy with an energetic and growing church, and a bustling household with four teenagers! I had a good excuse, right? What I realize now is that all of my energy was directed to growing the attractional church. I did not leave any time to simply be the grace of God for my neighbors. So how do I move from ignoring them to suddenly being interested in them? The answer probably has something to do with confession!
When you are new to a neighborhood you have this window of being new where you can approach people and ask questions. Even though I had hoped our log cabin in Willow would be a refuge where I would not be known as a pastor I have been "outed" there! With PLUME director, Robert Hicks encouraging us, Kim and I hosted a picnic for our Willow neighborhood a few weeks ago. We learned that it had never been done and guess what...people came, even in the rain!
So this dibble is a little poke for you to ask God how you can be present with the people in your neighborhood. I'd love to hear stories.