We bring up and send out missionaries who are prepared to go out into the harvest and share the Gospel.
And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.
Chris Evans, Spiritual Formations Pastor
Seven years ago, God entrusted Edmond's First with a vision of passionately connecting people to Christ, His Church, His Word, and His Mission for His Glory. Our primary strategy for accomplishing this vision is our Connection Groups. You can sum up with one word what we are about -multiplication.
"Neighboring Your Neighbor" is not a new vision nor a new strategy but adds tangible support to what we already have in place.
"Neighboring Your Four" is a long-term strategy designed to develop the congregation of Edmond's First Baptist Church into intentional Disciples who are committed to showing hospitality to their neighbors.
The term "neighbor" is not necessarily the people who live next door to you (even though it does include them), but the people in your sphere of influence. It is better to think about the term 'neighbor'utilizing two categories: metamorphic and actual.
Metaphoric neighbors refer to those everywhere in need.
Actual neighbors represent those who live in a neighborhood, especially those closes to your home.
We need to grow in our passion for reaching people. What God is willing to accomplish through us is determined by the size of our hearts for people. What God has for us is determined by how far our hearts can grow. Thus, what follows is a challenge for people to develop their hearts for their community and their neighbors.DOWNLOAD BOOKLET
Shared during the Thank You, Jesus Banquet in 2019, "Neighboring Your Neighbor" is not a new vision nor a new strategy but adds tangible support to what we already have in place.
Pray for your neighbor
Give grace to people
Learn their names
Choose to see their potential
Meet them where they are
Ask normal questions
Learn their story
Be truly interested
Do things with them
Develop meaningful relationships naturally, over time
Relax and don't pressure yourself
Learn their needs
Plan early to meet their needs
Be wise and generous with your budget
If needed enlist others to help
Talk to them about the Gospel
Bring them to a point of decision
Be willing to disciple them
Hospitality Reflects the Gospel
The Gospel comes with a house key and that key unlocks the "hundredfold" of God's provision of family and community for others. Hospitality is the ground zero of the Christian life.
Hospitality is Spiritual Warfare
Hospitality that gathers brothers and sisters alongside saved neighbors and strangers is not charity or kindness. Rather, it takes the Gospel upstream of the culture war and shakes the very gates of heaven for the souls of our neighbors.
Different Kinds of Hosts & Guests
Every Christian is called to practice hospitality, but that does not mean that everyone practices it in the same way. We practice hospitality by sharing our resources and our needs, by serving as both host and guest.
Hospitality is the Heart of Missions
Hospitality puts our lives and hearts on display for our neighbors to see.
Hospitality Requires Unity in the Church
The church must make hospitality a priority. This allows Christians to shift our focus from programs to relationships, which is the biblical model.
Nurtures & Grows the Family of God
Nourishing the family of God and compelling those outside the church to come to your table are the twin heartbeats off hospitality.
Hospitality is Good for the Giver
It compels us to confess and repent, to live below our means, and to build in margin time for the unexpected need of others.
Good for the Children
It is good for children to watch their parents living the Gospel in regular, nightly table fellowship. They watch i you warmly embrace neighbors who think differently than you.
Hospitality Takes Work
You have to be intentional and do what it takes to bless your neighbor.
Hospitality is Worth It
Hospitality develops eyes to see. It sharpens the saw of God's Word on our hard hearts. It develops bold intimacy among people who would never have reason to be friends. Jesus identifies with the stranger, the outsider, the needy.
crossway.org (April 8, 2018)