A note from Alicia: I am trying to live life "on mission". I mean, as I walk through my daily life, I am living out the gospel in front of everyone who sees me. Other parents of kids on my son's football team, the clerk at the store where I frequently shop and my neighbors in my cul-de-sac. It is so much easier to live missionally when I am actually on a mission trip. I can be loving and show Christ to people for a week or so. But day after day, in front of my literal neighbors is much harder. In fact, I just yelled at my boys to be quiet because I am writing about love! Nice. Obviously there are times I just want to do my thing and not worry about loving those around me. I was challenged by this blog that is written by my friend Tom. Hopefully it will remind you of what your mission is....
So, what do your neighbors think about church? Do you know? Have you ever talked to them about church?
What do your neighbors think about your church? Do you know? Did you know that what they think about your church, they learn it by watching you.
By watching how you treat your children.
By watching how you treat the neighbor’s dog who got away and whether you help them catch him or not.
By watching how your kids behave.
By seeing what’s important to you.
By seeing how you respond when the ref at your son’s football game obviously blows the call.
By seeing how you respond when someone needs help.
By how you respond when you interact with someone who isn’t the same as you are. One of our former neighbors had their grandson living with them for a while. He would often come over and “hang out” with my kids (I guess 13 year olds don’t play, they hang out). One time when he was over, he was talking about his Grandma and Grandpa and mentioned that he had 4 step dads.
Think about it. In the last 13 years, he’s gone through having 5 male role models (dad and step dads) and none of them have stayed around. How does someone with that sort of a history react to someone talking about God “The Father?” How would the kids at your church react if someone came in to their Sunday school class and said that? How would your church school teachers react?
The Bible teaches us that we are not “of this world.” We shouldn’t care what the world thinks of us. But at the same time, we should.
We should care what the world thinks of us because we should care about whether they can see Jesus through us.
Does the world look at the church and see a group of sinners who have said, “I’ve sinned, I’m far from what God wants me to be, but I know God loves me and He can and does love you too?”
Or do they see a group of people who are acting the part but aren’t really showing the true love of Jesus through how they live?
To read more from Tom Vanderwell (and trust me, you'll want to) visit his blog @http://tomvanderwell.net/2014/10/what-do-your-neighbors-think/