Lori (name changed) lives on our avenue. She’s a kind and thoughtful neighbor. She will always open her door for you. She takes time to chat. And she’s generous. Lori will help out however she can. She just wants to love and be loved.
Incidentally, Lori’s not a Follower of Christ—at least not the typical Follower of Christ that you might find at your local church. And yet, when I talk to Lori, I sense some faith. She’s a spiritual person. However, she doesn’t belong to a local church. In fact, the only worship service I’ve seen her attend is the community Christmas Eve program that our local church conducts in the community hall.
As I describe my neighbor, who has come to mind for you? Who is the “Lori” in your life? We all know such people. Most of them are just trying to make a living and raise their families. Just trying to make a small difference in this world. And yet, as far as we know, they’ve not received the gospel. They’ve not joined Jesus’s school of discipleship. So, how are we supposed to reach them? This is what we’re asking ourselves these days. I serve a church that seeks to reach out to people who don’t know Jesus. And happily, a few of them have come our way. But what we’re finding is that more and more the “Lori’s” in our lives won’t attend a worship service in a local church. So, how are we supposed to reach them?
Happily, the Lord has birthed a “Neighborhood Life Church” in our community, to help us reach the “Lori’s” that we know and love. Sometimes we wonder if this “church” will really work. Will these home churches that are being planted all over our community really take root? We’re not sure at this point, but we feel called to take this risk for the sake of the gospel and for the sake of the “Lori’s” in our community.
So, what are you doing to reach the “Lori” in your life? You may not have a Neighborhood Life Church in your town, but you can, in a sense, start your own little prayerful community of love. Happily, June is block party month in our city. This is one small but effective way that we can reach “Lori.” By extending hospitality to her. By being present and showing you care. By joining God in your neighborhood.
We recently celebrated Pentecost. May the Holy Spirit empower us to be Christ’s witnesses as we seek to reach out to the “Lori’s” in our communities.