The house that we have moved into is on the same street as my secretary and her husband. They have greatly modeled hospitality since we've arrived in Fort Myers. Across the street from them lives another couple who seek to live out Christianity in their home as well. They decided to have a neighborhood block party and asked us if we'd like to be involved. We jumped on the opportunity! Today, at 4:00 PM, we have invited several people from out street and the block surrounding us. As of Thursday morning we had 28 confirmed coming today. We are extremely excited about this opportunity.
Why are we doing this? It is common for churches to have some sort of block party, but it seems less common (rare?) to hear of Christians trying to have something in their neighborhood. As far as I'm concerned, there are at least two main reasons we wanted to be involved with this block party. The first is that we hope to be good neighbors. What I mean is that we want to know those who live around us so that we can, as much as they allow, be a part of their lives. We hope to build friendships with them so that they know they can trust us and want us to be a part of the neighborhood.
The second reason is probably pretty clear since I'm writing about this. It is my hope that we will have many gospel conversations. I hope we do today, but I really hope we will have ample opportunity in the future as well. This is not because I'm a pastor, but because I'm a follower of Christ. I truly believe there is salvation in no one other than Jesus. I also truly believe that there is no greater joy than that found in Christ. If this is true, then I hope to be able to point our neighbors to the life giving Son of God.
So would you pray for us? Would you pray that whether or not someone believes in Christ for salvation that we would still be good neighbors to them? Would you pray that God would open a door for the word and give us the wisdom and clarity to share it properly?