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A House of Good News

What if everyone on my block knew who I was? What if other people on my block knew each other because I introduced them? What if I knew what the needs of my neighbors were and were in a position to activate others to help? And what if I had an eye to initiate or come alongside a program to serve my neighborhood as quickly as I come alongside my church?

That would be good news in my neighborhood, wouldn’t it?

That would look a lot like Jesus’ words in Matthew 22:39, wouldn’t it? 

Love your neighbor as yourself.

It’s one of those obvious things we don’t do. If you are like me you think, “Gosh, that would be cool. But I’m not _____.” [Insert your excuse, mine is too busy already.]

But think of the possibility of this dream. What if my neighborhood were good news for residents? What if, compelled by a love for Jesus and empowered by the Holy Spirit, neighbors got to know one another, learned to love one another, and helped to meet one another’s practical needs. What if people thought about the place that they live as a source of life instead of just a place to live?

Is that possible?

Of course it is. We believe Jesus at His word on so many other levels, why not the most basic one? Love your neighbor as yourself. He didn’t say, love your family as yourself or love your church as yourself or love your TV as yourself or love the idea of a neighbor as you love yourself.

You and I are the change agents who can make this happen. Ephesians 2:10 is clear, we were created in Christ Jesus to do good works. So let’s get on that horse and do some good works!

You just have to push away the voices inside of you that tells you it isn’t your job. Or that being involved at _____ is enough. Or that you are too busy, your neighbors are annoying, they don’t want to know one another. On and on. Don’t let the voice of doubt win.

5 First Steps You Can Do This Week

  1. Learn 5 names you don’t already know on your block.
  2. Create a simple drawing for your fridge. Make a box for every house and put names in every box.
  3. Take a slow walk every day this week on your block with the intention of saying learning names. “Hi, I’m ___. What’s your name?” You can do that. This works well after work when people are out and about. It also works great in the morning if you have a dog. (The dog will love this!)
  4. Pick the newest person on your block and intentionally introduce yourself. Welcome them to the neighborhood.
  5. Tell 1 person your dream for the block, that it would be a place where neighbors are not strangers.

You’ve got this. You can do it! 

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6 Responses to A House of Good News

  1. Mike September 10, 2012 at 7:28 am #

    Our Small Group at church recently split (for positive reasons) and my wife and I were just trying to articulate this to each other last night. What if we reached out to our neighbors and built community there, and focused a little less on the tight community that already exists in our church. It’s a tough line to walk, but a necessary question to ask ourselves!

  2. Brandon Pachey September 10, 2012 at 4:03 pm #

    Im not even gonna lie, its really, really hard to do, but since its so simple it really shouldnt be.

  3. Rebecca September 10, 2012 at 4:42 pm #

    Wow. I just stumbled upon your blog this evening, and this post described exactly what my house is trying to do right now. Our church exists to love this particular community in the name of Jesus, and a group of us felt called to physically move into the neighborhood. We moved in this summer and are now trying to get to know the people on our street and at the park. I love your practical ideas. Thanks for the encouragement.

    • Adam McLane September 10, 2012 at 5:06 pm #

      Wait… you live in my neighborhood?

      • Rebecca September 10, 2012 at 5:15 pm #

        oh gosh. I’m sorry! In trying to be general, I actually came across specific. I wasn’t referring to your neighborhood, but it sure sounded like it. I’m so sorry! I should have worded that better.

  4. beckydurham September 12, 2012 at 6:18 am #

    Adam, I just want to tell you (probably *again*) that this concept of being good news in your neighborhood has completely resonated with me and it’s changing my thinking about everything. Also, that advice to make a map of your street with boxes for houses? I’ve had one on my fridge since we moved in. Every so often, I get to fill in another box! It totally works! Keep up the good writing!

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