29 March 2007


January marked the second annual winter retreat of my church. At this time we "launched" some small groups that would adopt a specific section of a neighborhood. Part of our task was to envision a way to impact and serve "our section."

What does it take to truly impact a neighborhood? I remember hearing a challenge that often churches do things for a neighborhood or even to a community, and they would be better served to do things with the community. I've engaged mostly in that former context. What does participating with the community look like? As a church, it seems our typical outreach plan demands hosting events or activities that require people coming to a church. Of course, and thankfully, there are exceptions to this.

I think we could do better.
But what does that look like? A seasoned author wrote, "What does the Lord require of you?"
And offers this response:
"to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with our God."

I'm wondering how that plays out. If our lives consist of sleeping, morning nourishment, transporting children places, or working, afternoon nourishment, more transport or other acitivity related to kids, or continued working, some type of evening nourishment possibly with the family, and then various evening activities, where does the justice, kindness, and humility come in? Can it simply occur throughout these other daily activities?
How do we develop and sustain relationships with that perspective in mind?
And then factor in church activity which often revolves around maintaining and "producing" Sunday gatherings, worship services, church school functions, etc.

It seems reasonable that the justice, kindness, and humility must be part of those activities, too.

But is that enough? Is there a different alignment required?

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