"Sum it all up for us, Jesus.", they asked Him.
"Ok, how about this: Love the Lord your God with all your everything... and Love your neighbor as yourself."
How about you? Are you enjoying 'peace with God'? And do you plan to inherit an eternity of unimaginable bliss?
And if so, do you plan to enjoy all that pretty much by yourself? Or do you love your neighbors enough to share that opportunity with them too?
Or let me rephrase the question before us...
How do we see the Great Commission ever getting accomplished, if not neighbor by neighbor, by neighbor, by neighbor? All of you share the good news with your neighbors, and we'll share it with ours?
Hmmmm. Let's do some simplistic math for a moment... Barna Research says that 40% of the population is 'born again'. As well, 7% of the population are 'evangelical' (who readily acknowledge their responsibility to share Christ with others). So let's say that in a neighborhood of 14 homes, you're the evangelical home, 5 others are 'born-again'... leaving you only 8 homes with which to share the Good News.
In an optimal setting, you would of course want your neighbors to hear the best possible presentation of the gospel; and you'd want to let them see it being lived out by you and the other born-again folks in your neighborhood, right?
8 homes to reach. 4 to the left; 4 to the right. Not rocket science.
The only remaining question is... will we go? Do we really love our neighbors as ourselves?
Do we even have a plan? Peyton Manning would never think of going into a game without a game plan -- do you have one? In fact, he even has what he calls a '2-minute drill'... for the late going. Are we in the late part of 'the game' now? Do you have a 2-year drill?
Our churches say they're 'equipping us for service'. Are they? Are they focusing on neighborhoods close-by? Helping us work alongside of other Christians in our neighborhoods?
How ironic is it that evangelicals are in the news these days, lobbying for a fair hearing for judicial nominees... and demanding they at least get an opportunity for an 'up or down' vote. But will our neighbors get a fair hearing, and an opportunity to make an 'up or down' choice?
Or are we letting them 'die in committee'?
Approximately 400 people die in our metro community each week. How many will we let die this week, 'in committee'?
Alternatively, how many of us will start working together, neighborhood by neighborhood, to offer our friends a clear 'up or down' opportunity?
If you'd like to get started with a 2-year plan for your small community.... visit Nhood.org. In fact, you'll see there's a great opportunity to get involved shortly in the "Faith, Hope & Love" community initiative listed there, to take place July 24th through the 30th.
Fair's fair. Our neighbors deserve a clear chance to experience peace with God... which was paid-for long ago. Will you give them that chance?