We live in a time when fear and distrust generally rule in our cities and neighborhoods. I recently talked with a neighbor who lives near our church facility. As we talked together at Starbucks, he told me about an encounter he had in front of his home. As he was standing outside watering his lawn, some folks walked by and he greeted them warmly. He didn’t get the warm response he had expected, but a look of fear that questioned his motivation.
It’s sad that cities today have lost their sense of community. As I talk with people around the country, I find that lack of community is becoming more and more evident. People don’t know who to trust and assume that kindness is the means to sell them something.
Absentee parents, greed, television, the Internet, self-absorption, violence on the news, and so much more have all contributed to this decline. But many people actually want to know their neighbors, and want to be known in turn. More than once I have heard neighbors say they “always wanted to know” their neighbors, and that they “had this back in my hometown growing up, but never here.”
The Church is isolated from the community and neighbors are isolated from one another. We drive into our garages or driveways, not to be seen again until we go back to work or school the next day.
This type of isolation inhibits community and serves as a logjam for the movement of God’s kingdom in our cities. Isolationism cannot be countered with mere activity and definitely not by passing one another on our way to or from work.
Everybody’s busy. But when we take a moment to be present with another person, we are breaking into dark places with the light of God’s love. Simply loving our neighbors can spark a sense of community in our neighborhoods again and provide the context for the spread of God’s love.
– Taken from Neighborhood Initiative and the Love of God

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