“Where you live is as important as how you serve, what you give and attendance you count.”  This is a quote from a forum I attended at Willow Creek Community Church in Chicago.  I began to think what this really ment.  And now I am experiencing what this really means as I have discovered that where I bought a house was not just a great deal, but a deal that God had put together for a reason

Our subdivision is the best neighborhood in the nation!  Well, you may argue that based on your current community.  But with the community environment we have developed with our neighbors has only existed in one other subdivision in my life.  I now know why.

Starbucks has a Career opportunity card that reads “Create Community.  Make a difference in someone’s day.”  On the back it reads “When you work at Starbucks, you can make a difference in someone’s day by creating an environment where neighbors and friends can get together adn reconnect while enjoying a great coffee experience.”   Coffee, that is their business.   But by putting a different focus for employees, coffee sites second to last in their theme.  This is where neighborhood has changed for me.

Randy Frazee in his book “The Connecting Church” has put a different perspective on neighborhood.  Individualism and isolation are things of the past for those of us practicing Neighborhood Ministry.   

You see, we have rediscovered neighborhood which has changed my perspective and focus.  Where I live is a place that God has placed me to be the presence of Jesus.  I walk the streets with excitement.  I wave to neighbors as they drive by my house.  We partner with other neighbors to plan neighborhood parties/events … because my house is not just where I sleep, eat and work long hours to pay for.  My house is a place of peace, a place of encouragement, a place of smiles and friendliness to all neighbors.  A place someone can come and sit a while and share and receive the unconditional love of Christ through our family. 

How can you make this your neighborhood?  Well, the expensive way is to buy a house in our subdivision.  But the better, more inexpensive way, is to rediscover neighborhood in your subdivision/community.  Randy gives some simple practices that will begin to grow this environment in your area.

1.  Give God your subdivision and let him work through you where you live.  Give it equal importance to church attendance, where you serve and what you give.   2.  Sit in front yard, rather than on the back deck.  3.  Walk your neighborhood rather than treadmill. 4. Identify a core of neighbors you eat/cookout with.  5. Don’t build a privacy fence. Build a picket fence so you can talk through/over it to neighbors.  6.  For extremists, change jobs to cut down on commute and live on a single income to give more time at home. 

Sound too simple?   On August 24, FBC Smyrna will have a seminar on how to begin a Neighborhood ministry.  Open to anyone!  Email me to RSVP  eddie.mosley@fbcsmyrna.org