Neighboring: Recovering a Lost Art - (Part 2)
Maybe it’s time to set down the smartphone, walk away from the computer or tablet, and turn off the television so you have some time to discover what it means to be a good neighbor. Yeah, it’s going to take a radical move in our lives if we want to live out the mission Jesus gave us to go into all the world and make disciples. And it starts in the art of being a good neighbor.
Recently we were talking with our friend, Matthew, who has joined us here in Columbus and has become a part of Mission 614. Matthew has been going to eat breakfast every Saturday morning to a little diner called Nancy’s in Clintonville, and the other day when we were talking he rattled off all the names of the people who work at the diner. The art of neighboring can start with something as simple as learning a name … and then it grows from there. It’s how we recover this lost art as we become a better neighbor than we were before.
In Issue 56 from October of 2018 we shared a resource entitled “The Art of Neighboring” by Jay Pathak and John Runyon. If you need a little inspiration or general direction, pick up a copy of the book and see where it leads you. You can even check your local library, we did.
Here are a few ways we have been practicing the Art of Neighboring over the last several years of missionary life. We have taken time to get to know their names and a whole lot more as we …
have met all the neighbors on our street and a few that live on nearby streets (have a good number of their names down and even which house they live in)
have identified fellow believers in our neighborhood who can work with us moving forward as we strive to shepherd/pastor those who live around us (what a great way for the church to come together and care for those who live near us)
have discovered several areas of concern and interest with the people in our neighborhood-at-large as we listen more than we talk and found out things we would never have come to mind
return to the same restaurants and stores, getting to know the people who work there (it’s simple and we found it’s effective when you come with a smile and warm greeting)
invited educators from the local universities over for a cook out during the summer months (it’s amazing what you learn at the table sharing a meal)
have met about eight different business owners/managers in the Clintonville area and are slowly building relationship with them (it’s a start as we share our lives and resources with them)
So many stories … so many opportunities … and we feel like we have only just begun.
Once you start to get the art of neighboring down and feel a bit more confident in your competency, the Great Commission “to go and make disciples” takes on a completely different look. We (Kandy, David, and some others who have joined us already) are excited about this missionary approach to life and ministry.
It’s for us to recover this lost art of neighboring and the best to do is is by becoming a good neighbor yourself.