Further Up, Further In Weblog

Chronicling the Journey of the Homeyers

Love God, Love Neighbor January 23, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — furtherupfurtherin @ 9:46 pm

This is an unedited post from our weekly newsletter.  I thought those of you who may not get our newsletter might like to hear about a new ministry we are beginning at Fellowship.  I got the idea for this type of ministry from a seminar I attended with Community Renewal International in Shreveport, LA and their founder, Mack McCarter. 

Sunday in the State of the Church Address, we discussed Jesus’ words in Matthew 22:34-40 where he says the greatest commandment is to love the Lord Your God with all your heart, and all your mind, and all your soul, and the second greatest was to love your neighbor as yourself. 

Love God, Love Neighbor. 

Jesus said the whole of the law and the prophets hung on these two commands.  I believe Jesus’ life and teaching show us that the whole of the gospel and our life lived in Christ hangs on these two commands as well.

Our life in Christ is to be spent actively Loving God, and Loving neighbor.

Love God, Love Neighbor.

This will be our theme, our mantra, our purpose in everything we do as Fellowship Baptist Church as we move forward in 2009 and beyond. 

Love God, Love Neighbor.

Sunday I introduced a new ministry of Fellowship that will serve as a great opportunity for us to both Love God and Love Neighbor.  It is called our Fellowship House Ministry. 

It is a ministry to those who quite literally are our neighbors in the most narrow interpretation – those who live in the same neighborhood, or on the same street as we do. 

As the average square footage of the American home has grown over the past decades, we have lost much of what it means to be a neighbor to those who live right around us.  Many of us will travel all over the world to share Christ with those in need, but for years will drive by those who live next to us every day and merely wave and say, “hello!”  Loving neighbor certainly extends to those neighbors in need around the world, but it just as certainly begins with those who live right next door. 

For those who feel led to be a Fellowship House in your neighborhood, you will commit to be an intentional neighbor to 10-15 houses near you.  Here are some of the requirements of a Fellowship House

 

  • You will commit to meet and, over time, develop friendships with each of these neighbor families.
  • You will let them know you desire to help them and be a good neighbor in any way you can if they need one.
  • As you meet these neighbors, you will attempt to connect them with one another, and encourage them to be good neighbors to one another.
  • Twice a year you will host or organize a neighborhood gathering like a BBQ, or a dinner, or having everyone over for Ice Cream. Community is developed in these times. Neighbors connect, and ministry happens.
  • Once every other month, you will gather with other Fellowship Houses and pray for one another, share ideas on how to be reach out to your neighbors, and support one another.

 

This sounds incredibly simple.  Get to know the people living around you.  And it is simple.  As you visit you will meet some who are faithful followers of Christ.  With them, share your mission and your vision and ask for their prayers, and if they are led, their help.  But you will also meet those who need a neighbor.  You will meet those who need help mowing the grass and picking up their mail when they are gone.  You will meet those who need prayer, who need someone to listen to them, and who need Christ. 

Many of you are already faithful neighbors.  If so, then sign up to be a Fellowship House and join this ministry.  Those of us who don’t know our neighbors will need help and ideas and support from you. 

For those of you who are uncomfortable at the thought of this, don’t let your uncomfortability hold you back.  We grow when we fight through such feelings. 

Pray about your involvement.  We will have a signup sheet at Church Sunday.  You can email me or call the office if you want to get involved.  Do the same if you have any questions.  Sunday I will stay after church and answer any questions anyone has as well. 

This sign-up period will last until Sunday, February 8.  When we see who is led to be involved, we will provide some training, and hopefully begin in earnest in mid-late February. 

I am praying for 15 families to commit to be a part of this ministry and be a Fellowship House on their street. 

Can you imagine what God could do in Marble Falls with 15 families each ministering actively to 15 other families?  

Pray about this opportunity to Love God and Love Neighbor.

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