Don’t Be A Neighbor

Greg Harris   -  

Well maybe we should say, don’t just be a neighbor.

At OBCC we actually want to meet our neighbors and connect with them. But did you know that sharing Jesus with someone who just considers you a “neighbor” might be a lousy way to evangelize people?

The best evangelism doesn’t occur with a neighbor.

In fact, in his book “Growing God’s Church,” Gary McIntosh revealed that those who said they were led to faith by a neighbor was only 29 people out of a 1000!

So why do we challenge people to meet their neighbors? Simple: Because we want you to become more than a neighbor.

The best way to really reach your neighbor is for your neighbor to become a friend.

When that happens, the chances of them actually becoming a Christian leap up.

According to Gary, the percentage of people who received Jesus from a friend is higher, it’s 157 people for every 1000. We can explain this because:

  • You share more with a friend.
  • They are more willing to listen to a friend.
  • They know where you are coming from as a friend.

Another benefit is there’s a better chance they’ll come to church with you too.

If that happens, you again increase the chance your friend has of coming to know Jesus. 173 people out of 1000 said they were led to faith by pastoral staff.

So be a friend and invite them to church, and you increase the likelihood of seeing them come to Christ.

Now here’s what motivates me the most:

When we lead a friend to Christ, the chances they lead their family to Christ skyrocket.

Out of a 1000 people, 432 people said they were led to Christ by a family member.

See, when we actually see a friend receive Jesus we change the trajectory of a family not just for one generation, but likely for many.

That’s called a spiritual legacy.

Think back to who led you to Christ, and those you’ve led to Christ. It’s an amazing thing to think of the spiritual chain that leads back to Jesus.

And you get to be a part of that chain.

So why not, and take the plunge this summer to reach out to your neighbor?

Have a BBQ or a movie night. Invite them over for dessert or just talk to them when they’re out doing their lawn. Maybe bring them a small token of care and introduce yourself.

There are a lot of ideas out there! Let’s take advantage of the moment, and trust that God can change the trajectory of a family.