Introducing Placed for a Purpose: A Podcast to Keep Neighboring on Your Mind
Remember the good old days when you knew your neighbors’ names because they brought you a pie when you moved in and watered your plants when you were out of town? Remember how you borrowed sugar and outdoor tools and depended on each other in times of need?
No? Not ringing any bells?
For many of us, we don’t remember because we’ve never so much as said hello to our neighbors. All we remember are big fences and uncomfortable eye contact in our apartment stairwells.
No wonder when the pastor gives a compelling message about showing and sharing Jesus’s love with your neighbors, we smile and nod… but also feel a little guilty. We have no idea how to apply this message, at least not with anyone next door.
Let’s be realistic. You’re busy! Squeezing in time to build relationships with people you’re suspicious of doesn’t exactly rank high on your list of felt needs. The obstacles-to-neighboring list is a mile long. You fear your life is already too full and neighbors will be too needy. They parked in your spot or took your mail, you don’t like their pets or they don’t like yours, they’re too loud or too private.
How and why would you try to make friends with the neighbors when you can’t even keep up with those closest to you?
You want to make a difference around you…
Yet there’s a non-urgent, still very important, desire inside you to be a part of something bigger than yourself. At times it feels more awkward than intuitive, but it’s coded into you all the same: God calls you to engage in his mission and love your neighbors (even the ones next door!)
Jesus woos us to participate in his kingdom work, to see his renewal, restoration, hope, and healing come to our communities. Even if you try to ignore this missional invitation for fear of what it might cost, you can’t help but see needs around you for neighborhood peacemaking and mercy-extending.
Deep down you want to make a difference in our corners of the world because Jesus has made a difference in yours.
…But you have questions.
Is neighboring one-size-fits-all?
What if I have nothing in common with my neighbors?
Can I talk about my faith without being weird?
Do I have to talk to my neighbor every time I see them?
We all have good intentions, but we lack follow through. We need simple. We need doable.
We need vision to help us not burn out.
God’s at work. You’ll be right at home.
Introducing Placed for a Purpose
As you listen to Placed for a Purpose, you’ll find yourself swept up into a bigger story, one you are a part of.
You’ll go from ignoring, distrusting, and avoiding your neighbors to finding common ground and enjoying mutual relationships with neighbors of diverse perspectives and backgrounds… neighbors whom Jesus loves. You’ll consider letting go of grudges instead of holding onto them, and you’ll discover that loving your neighbors encompasses not only the big gestures, but the seemingly small and insignificant ones.
You’ll hear us share our own experiences and unpack how scripture informs our theology of place. We’ll interview authors and pastors and researchers from differing fields and perspectives who offer unique expertise in the neighboring space. We’ll shares stories from people— introverts and extroverts, singles, young moms, and empty nesters from urban, suburban or rural contexts—who’ve dipped their toe in the neighboring waters, are trying stuff, and seeing God move. And we’ll provide some guided prayer walks for you to pray as you walk in your neighborhood. (Because sometimes we want to pray for our neighbors, but we don’t know always know what to pray.)
And along the way, as we do this neighboring journey together, rather than feeling disconnected from your address, you might become co-creators of a neighborhood community. A community where you seek the common good of your neighborhood together with your next-door image-bearers. As a result, you’ll better know how to practically love and pray for them.
Maybe you’ll develop the kind of relationships that can sustain the deeper, weightier kinds of conversations, maybe even conversations about Jesus and what he means to you. You might even get to see life-change, including your own.
We’ll keep neighboring on your mind, and you’ll get to join God where he’s already at work. Trust us, you’ll be right at home. Literally.
Your address is not an accident, and neither is your neighbor’s. Be the first to know when a new episode of Placed for a Purpose drops!
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