“Love The Lord Your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength and Love your neighbor as yourself.” This was Jesus’ answer to the question, “What is the greatest commandment?” You see, you can’t really love God without loving your neighbor and you can’t really love your neighbor without loving God. They go together!
Our hope and prayer is that for as many people say “YES” to loving God, they will also say “YES” to loving their neighbor. For us, “neighboring” is not a program or an initiative or an event—it’s a way of life. Together we are living out the fullness of the greatest commandment.
The Neighboring life is about more intentionally loving the people around us and specifically our literal neighbors. It’s a call to be aware of what’s happening around us. It’s a call to look for ways to jump in and act when God nudges us. It’s a call to share and to be good news to people.
And here’s the bonus! The Neighboring life is not just for your neighbors. It’s also for you. It enhances your relationship with God. It helps you move beyond religion. It helps you feel more connected to the mission of God. It helps your faith grow and come alive.
If you are exploring what it means to Love Your Neighbor and are looking for encouragement, coaching, and support, know that our Neighboring team of pastors is here to help you in any way we can.
Do you want to know how to be a great, loving neighbor?
Here are the building blocks of neighboring.
Everything you do in love toward your neighbor is a Plus 1 for the Kingdom of God.
Several years ago, missionaries in the Middle East were struggling to find encouragement to continue their mission. With so little fruit from their work, they were discouraged. In an attempt to bolster their spirits, they decided to count everything they did in love toward their friends and neighbors. If someone made eye contact with them it was a Plus 1. If they were able to share a cup of tea—Plus 1. If there was a conversation or a meal or an act of service or any other kind of interaction made in love—Plus 1, Plus 1, Plus 1. The hope was that someday all the Plus-1’s would add up and tip the scales toward meaningful and transformational encounters and movement.
In the same way, we at LifeBridge have decided that every act of love toward our neighbors is a Plus 1 for the Kingdom of God. We are partnering with God with all of our prayers and thoughts and actions toward helping people experience the love of God and know God for themselves. We are counting everything. We are praying God will tip the scales. When we bring over cookies—Plus 1. When we help clean a yard—Plus 1. When we meet at the mailbox and get to know our neighbors better—Plus 1. You get the picture right? Everything you do for your neighbors in love is a Plus 1 for the Kingdom of God. Neighboring is ministry!
Theology of Place