God’s mission isn’t just across an ocean—it’s right outside your door. This past summer and fall, two groups of people journeyed with Resonate Global Mission in Joining God in the Neighbourhood cohorts led by Marian Lensink, a local mission leader. The four sessions of the workshop focused on listening to God through Scripture, our neighbourhoods, and each other in order to join God on mission.
Here are some testimonies that participants shared:
“Joining God in the Neighborhood opened my eyes and challenged me to move out of my comfort zone. It is easy to see your home as a haven, but it is important that doesn't mean we justify avoiding neighbors. We can get comfortable with the status quo of a friendly wave while never seeking to know those around us in a deeper way. How are we to witness for Christ if we resist relationships with those in closest proximity to us? Joining God in the Neighborhood helped me to see my own preferences and self justifications, challenging me to open my heart to others, and in so doing, open my heart to Christ.” —Tara
“Being a part of the Joining God in the Neighbourhood workshop, especially during COVID-19 times offered both comfort and praise of humanity, as well as focused the participants in simple acts of being intentional in loving our neighbours. One highlight was meditating on the same scripture together in both small and large groups, week after week, to allow verses to speak to us differently. We were encouraged to interact with our direct neighbours as we walk around our blocks and through this time, get to know a little bit about them. I personally found delight as I passed an elderly couple on their front porch. We said the usual “hello.” The next week I noticed the lady had her arm in a cast and I asked her what happened. She appreciated being seen. A few weeks later as I walked by, she saw me out of her window and came to the door. We chatted a bit longer. Later in the summer I noticed her cast was off. Building this simple relationship with my neighbour who I didn't know weeks earlier was an act of love that showed compassion and empathy for where she was at. The best part was my children were with me each time, watching and learning a simple way to love our neighbour.” —Christine
“Being intentional on joining God at work in my neighbourhood. Hope to glean some ideas on how we can work on walking with God in our church's neighbourhood.” —Jerianne
“Applying these rhythms to my everyday life is what I need to continually learn. It's different than just being program-oriented and I’m learning about changing lifestyles to be more focused on what’s happening around me.” —Mike
"I learned the importance of vulnerability in being a good neighbour (and following Jesus). I gained some practice in ‘listening’ to God while walking in my neighbourhood. I learned that being a good neighbour involves mutuality—allowing my neighbours to share with me rather than only vice-versa. I learned (again) how important availability and time are in being missional.” —Cara
“The cohort AND the book (The Art of Neighboring), which I bought, reinforced for me the need for genuine friendship as a baseline for sharing the Good News.” —Jane
Are you interested in learning more about how you can be a witness for Christ in your neighbourhood? If you’re interested in learning more about or participating in a Joining God in the Neighbuorhood cohort, email Marian Lensink [email protected].
We are also planning a Next Steps cohort as a follow-up to Joining God in the Neighbourhood. More information to come. Stay tuned!.