Neighboring: Where You Live Matters – Part 1

thGary Roberts discusses the importance of being a neighbour to your neighbour in Mission Moments, Part 1 (February 15, 2015). Like you, I am a neighbor. I neighbor with those who live in the West Downtown neighborhood of Minneapolis. My neighbors are wealthy, poor, young, elderly, white collar, blue collar, white, African American, Hmong, and Somali. We dress in suits, chef’s aprons, jeans, hotel domestic uniforms, mink coats, wool coats, tattered coats too thin to keep out the Minnesota cold, and no coats at all. We live in high-rise luxury condos and apartments, early 1900’s buildings, Section Eight housing, cars, parks, and on the street. We are a fascinating woven fabric of humanity occupying these several city blocks we call our neighborhood. Some elements of my neighborhood have felt the Spirit’s redemptive touch.  Other elements are still in need of redemption.  God is present in all of it, working his grace to restore shalom, sometimes in the most surprising ways. Our missional role is to join God in his redemptive plan for the world in the spaces we already occupy – our neighborhoods.

“Our missional role is to join God in his redemptive plan for the world in the spaces we already occupy – our neighborhoods.”

This is true for all of us. However, our neighborhoods are the forgotten mission fields of the North American church. Too many of us do not live in our churches’ neighborhood. When this is the case, both the neighborhood in which we live, and the neighborhood in which we are planting, suffers. This is because we do not have a “horizontal” and “vertical” perspective on either neighborhood. Let me unpack this. To read the rest of the article, visit: Neighbor 1.

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