In Ecclesiastes 3:1, the wisest man who ever lived (no, it wasn’t Mr. Rogers) said this: “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.”
One of the seasons that the church of Austin is in right now is a season of taking the lifestyle of loving our neighbors to a whole new level. This movement that nearly 300 churches are a part of is called Love Where You Live. We are in the thick of it right now!
The whole goal of this initiative is that the church would “help put the ‘neighbor’ back in ‘neighborhood.’” This is an attempt to meet one of the deepest needs in our city, the need for loving relationships. Sadly, we no longer live in a day & age where people live close to their immediate families. The average person has very few roots where they live and very few relationships. In the midst of being away from their families and childhood friends, “50% of Americans do not know their neighbors (Trulia, 2013).” In other words, many of your neighbors are very alone.
Whether your neighbors are alone or not, your neighborhood is not as warm as it could be. Imagine with us what would happen if the church of God was the one responsible for making our neighborhoods a place where everyone there Loved To Live. We were the ones who threw the parties. We were the ones who helped out when we saw needs. We were the ones who invited folks over for dinner. What if? I think if these things could be said of us, we may just see God do some amazing things in the lives of our neighbors.
This March we are asking our church family to begin gearing up to invite their neighbors over for a conversation about neighboring in the month of April. In the coming weeks, you’ll hear a lot about the idea of hosting a “neighbor group” in your home. In short, it is inviting your neighbors over to discuss how you can make your neighborhood a place where you’d all “Love To Live." There is a four-week video based curriculum with questions that can provide structure to your conversations. You can see the first video with Police Chief Art Acevedo here. We are praying that our church will at a minimum have 50 neighbor groups in the month of April.
Can you imagine if 300 churches had 50 neighbor groups that showed love to 5 neighbors? We’d be expressing God's love to approximately 75,000 people this April. Don’t you want to be a part of this?! The time is now.
God is able!