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The spot for the good news, the good word, the quick reports of the many, many wonderful news items I hear all the time and want to share with the rest of you. Expect to find the good news when you come to check out "what’s the good word?"

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Neighbours


Some years ago, I walked into a certain congregation for the very first time. This church was part of the mission centre to which I was newly assigned, and this was my very first visit there. I had a chance to drive around the neighbourhood before I went to the church, so I had time to make some observations. That particular congregation was ideally situated in a rather large residential area with a park right next to the church. In time I would learn that, on evenings and weekends, the street was always busy with families coming to play ball at the park. What a great place for a church!

When I entered, the leadership team was having a discussion about holding a fundraising event. The conversation was around finding a date for the annual spaghetti supper. The discussion went something like, “Well, we can’t have it this date because congregation X has something then, and that date is no good because congregation Y has something”. It became clear to me that the idea was to raise money by inviting folks from neighbouring congregations to come. While there is nothing particularly wrong with that, it struck me as a seriously missed opportunity.

I asked the leadership team if they had ever considered inviting the neighbours to come to the spaghetti supper. This question was met with a rather surprised silence. It was clearly a new idea to many, and I could see them thinking it over. Was this a good idea? Would the neighbours actually come? How would they go about doing that?

The good news is that one person thought it was a great idea and actually sent out some invitations. Further, some people actually came. What is more, at least one person liked the congregation so much she eventually chose to make it her new church home. In the process, she moved from being an unknown neighbour to a good neighbour, friends, and member, all because of one invitation.

I have a friend I have often heard say, “The gospel is not just about us.” Clearly this is true, since the message of Jesus is for everyone, and that includes the neighbours where the church is.

So let me ask you, have you ever invited the neighbours who live on the street where your congregation’s building is to come to some event? Have you ever thought of it? Has anyone thought of it? Has anyone even talked to the neighbours…at least in the five years…or 10?

If not, do you think it might be time we did?

Posted by Carman

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