During the Christmas season, we encouraged our people to spend the next year building relationships for the purpose of sharing Jesus. The central message of the Scriptures is this, God coming to us by becoming one of us. Jesus came to open the way for us to be friends with God. For those who follow Jesus, one of the most important ways we can be like Him is to intentionally build relationships with those in our neighborhoods. Now, only Jesus is truly God with us. He is our only Savior, and the only one who can bring redemption and restoration. Still, when Christ saves us He puts the Holy Spirit within us, and sends us into the world. This means that in an entirely different way, we have the presence of God and are sent by Christ (John 20:21). This means we can live incarnationally, as people who take the presence of God into our neighborhoods and offer the opportunity for the people we know to meet the One True God.
What I have learned over the years, though, is that we need practical and applicable ideas to make this happen. So we plan to publish 12 ideas in 2018, simple ways to help us build relationships in our neighborhoods so we can be friends with people and share Jesus.
For September, why don’t you lead out in a drive. Organizations such as the Red Cross or American Cancer Society are always looking for people to host a fund-raising drive in their neighborhood. They will send you letters and labels for people who live around you. Rather than mail these, hand deliver them and use this as a way to meet people who live on your street. Another idea would be to hold a peanut butter drive for Haiti or canned food drive for the Eureka Food Pantry.