Calling God’s people together and Loving Our Neighbors
The Loving Our Neighbors ministry exists to help the whole Church take the whole Gospel to the whole community.
“…pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”
~ James 5:16 (NIV)
Why is praying for my neighbors important?
In Luke 10:2 Jesus said, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
If the laborers are going to go forth into the Lord’s harvest, that means we are going to have to get out of our buildings and into the community!
How do I start praying for or with my neighbors?
Talk to God about your neighbors before you talk to your neighbors about God. He will give you the right words to pray and a prayer strategy for your street. As you walk your street or targeted areas, opportunities to pray with someone or tell the Good News about Jesus Christ may occur while you’re having an ordinary conversation with someone. Let God lead you as you share your faith with others.
Prayer Walking—Put feet on your prayers!
Walking as we pray helps us to pray clearer because we see things that we can’t see otherwise. As you walk down your street, you will quickly become aware of the needs and realities of your neighborhood. It’s being on the scene without making one!
Tip: Walk alone, or form a small group of two or three. As people get used to seeing you, they will be more willing to talk and share their prayer needs. Walking your area regularly is best.
We envision a community of people who know that churches are full of caring and helpful neighbors they can turn to in times of need.
How do I show my neighbors I care about them?
The best way to attract people to Jesus is to be like Him – showing love and concern. As you consider your neighbor’s needs, ask God to show you ways to reach out to them through warm-hearted, genuine acts of kindness. You can build personal relationships through simple things:
- Introduce yourself – if you have a neighbor you have never met, it’s time to introduce yourself!
- Look for needs – Someone’s garbage has blown away. Retrieve it. Is a family sick or shut in? Offer to run an errand, provide a meal, or bring in their newspaper.
Sharing the Gospel with your Neighbors…
How do I start the conversation?
As you are praying and caring for your neighbors, look for natural opportunities to share your life and faith.
Evangelism is the act of proclaiming the gospel, the Good News of Jesus Christ, but it begins by listening. The people you meet will have their own stories to tell. By listening, you will gain insight into their needs and be able to assess how best to share the Gospel.
Be prepared to share your own personal testimony…
After listening to someone’s story, you may have a similar experience to share. Or perhaps you could tell about when you were first introduced to Jesus Christ and heard the Good News… God will give you chances to share your testimony that are natural and unique.
We know many Christians have fear when talking about sharing their faith. Remember, Jesus Christ has already been working in many peoples lives, drawing them near to Him. We Christ followers are appointed to assist God in His great work.
Get in Touch. Get Involved.
Are you interested in volunteering with ESA/Love INC, or do you want to find out how to get your congregation involved with a Loving Our Neighbors program? We would love to hear from you!