…when we think our neighbourhoods, we must also think of our networks, places where we do life together in natural relationships: at work, at the kids’ soccer and baseball games, in the schools, at pancake breakfasts, in community events, at Starbucks. The kingdom of God is a people and a place of community – with local opportunities to belong and meet others.
To love our neighbour as ourselves and to be a neighbour to others means we will not just pass by that hurting person we see along our pathway and in our network. We must be ready to offer mercy with a good cup of coffee, or a room to stay in or a free meal to enjoy or payment for a medication or next month’s rent.
The challenges to missional living in suburbia are legion. Simon Carey Holt reminds us that suburbia has a utopian vision of life: A community of like minded citizens escaping one place to reside in another. He points to the billboards along the highway, which offer a dream. The words “community,” “security” and “home” are plastered over images of children riding their bikes, fathers rolling in the grass, airbrushed sunsets and candle lit dinners. We all long for community, but the community that marketing technicians offer is no “place.” It’s an empty abstraction.
And yet, Jesus became a man and moved into the neighbourhood. How do we make a difference? How do we as the physical church body of Jesus become visible people? How do we become “placed” and invite people to come?
Roger Helland and Leonard Hjalmarson “Missional Spirituality: Embodying God’s Love from the Inside Out.” 180. (IVP)
The questions at the end of this excerpt are seemingly simple until we adventure into the practicality of becoming a ‘visible’ people.
How do we make a difference? How do we as the physical church body of Jesus become a visible people? How do we become “placed” and invite people to come?