Do you know your neighbors? Do you know their names and the problems they face each day?
I can honestly say, I don’t! But I do want to know their names, and more!
Where do I start?
We live in a great new neighborhood. It’s a little mix of heaven with at least six nationalities living together on just one street of 41 houses. I want to know my neighbors. I even imagine sharing meals together or at least drinking tea with them on the porch.
But what I want and what I do are two different things!
My natural tendency, after a long day at work, is to go home and talk with my husband or to spend time with my grandchildren who live nearby. Those are both great things, but I know that God put me in my neighborhood because we’re supposed to live in real community with one another. That means more than just living in the same area!
You may be like me: you want to really connect with people and make a difference in a hurting world. You want to know your neighbors well and to let them know you, too. But maybe you also find yourself going home and doing your own thing.
Would you be willing to stretch yourself a little each week to get to know your neighbor? I’d be doing it right along with you and would love some friends on this journey. Let’s support each other! I’m expecting some great things as we all take some small steps to know our neighbors together.
Why not take the Know Your Neighbor Christian Women’s Leadership Challenge with me?
1. It’s free!
It’s free to sign up. Just click this link and you can sign up to get a doable set of instructions. You’ll receive an email each Thursday for 40 weeks. I’ll be doing each activity with you, because God has convicted me through His Word that it’s time to be more intentional.
Yes, it’s free. But the word free is tricky! You could say it costs you nothing. But really? Does any worthy thing ever truly cost nothing?
Jesus had a way of attracting people.
They came to Jesus with their questions.
Nicodemus came to Jesus at night. He believed that Jesus came from God. He said to Jesus, “no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him” (John 3:2 NIV*).
It’s obvious he had questions and wanted to find out more. But what he found out was asking more of him than he was prepared to hear. “Jesus replied, ‘Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again’” (John 3:3).
To follow Jesus would require a new birth—a new life, something Nicodemus could not understand. His question was, “How can someone be born when they are old?” (John 3:4). It would cost him nothing, and it would cost him essentially everything.
The rich man came to Jesus lacking just one thing . . . “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me” (Mark 10:21).
This rich man had kept all of the commands. His question was, What must I do to inherit eternal life? (Mark 10:17). He was a good person, but for some reason his stuff was in the way. The rich man needed to let go of some things. It would cost him nothing to give away everything.
A Pharisee, an expert in the law, asked Jesus about the greatest command in order to test Him.
Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” (Matthew 22:37–40).
The experts in the law believed that they loved God. This Pharisee’s question was, “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” (Matt. 22:36). To follow Jesus, the experts in the law would need to change their understanding of the two greatest commandments. They needed to know how to truly love the Lord God. They needed to love their neighbors as themselves by serving others rather than by being served.
Like these three, we know that Jesus’ way is different than the typical ways of mankind.
Jesus certainly made a difference wherever He went! You know you want to make a difference, too. Wouldn’t it make sense to start right where you live?
Why not take the Know Your Neighbor Christian Women’s Leadership Challenge?
2. It’s easy!
It’s easy to sign up. Just click here and sign up to take the step-by-step challenge. In nine months, we’ll surely get to know our neighbors, and they’ll know us better, too.
Yes, it’s easy! But the word easy is tricky! You could say it’s without difficulty or effort. But really? Is any worthy thing ever truly without difficulty or effort?
Jesus had a way of making a difference.
People came to Jesus to get some answers.
Question: “Who is my neighbor?” (Luke 10:29). The expert in the law asked this question of Jesus, and the answer made a big difference.
Answer: One might think an appropriate answer to this question should be something like, “My neighbor is the one who lives next door. He and she are both my neighbor.” But Jesus answered with a parable—a story—in Luke 10:30–35.
In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denariiand gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’”
After telling the parable, Jesus asked the expert in the law, and the expert answered his own question (Luke 10:36–37):
“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”
The Difference: Jesus didn’t answer the question, Who is my neighbor? Rather, He asked the question, Who is the neighbor? Perhaps a neighbor is a state of being and a state of action all wrapped up in one.
Am I being a good neighbor? Am I acting like a neighbor? Do I even know my neighbor?
Being a neighbor and knowing a neighbor might be difficult and it might take effort. The Samaritan was certainly a neighbor. He did not walk past the man who had been robbed. He stopped. He helped. It was not free. It was not easy. It cost him a great deal of time and money. It changed his plans. It was difficult and took great effort.
Do you know your neighbor? Let’s keep it real. Let’s start with the people right next door. Are we a neighbor to them? Are they a neighbor to us? Those are some real questions that we can answer rather frankly.
I know that I am not that kind of neighbor, but I want to make a difference in my neighborhood. Will you join me?
The Know Your Neighbor Christian Women’s Leadership Challenge begins Thursday, August 1. Sign up today to get one email a week for 40 weeks (nine months, August–April).
3. It’s a challenge!
Leaders take challenges in order to grow.
Signing up is free, and it’s easy. It’s also a challenge.
- We’ll walk with you as you to get to know your neighbors authentically.
- We’ll motivate you to get out of your chair, to go outside, to walk around, and to find ways to connect with your neighbors.
- We’ll guide you to really get to know your real neighbor, to find ways to learn from them rather than trying to teach them everything you know.
- We’ll inspire you to open the door to your home and your heart as you get to know your neighbor.
If every Christian woman loves the Lord her God with all her heart, and with all her soul, and with all her mind, and loves her neighbor as herself, won’t every Christian woman make a difference in a hurting world or at least in her neighborhood?
Point your friends to this challenge at cwlcleaders.com/insiders.
Do you want to delve deeper in becoming a transformational servant leader?
- Take one $30 leadership course each month (includes course text as a PDF file within each course) and complete the CWLC’s Leadership Certificate Program at the end of the nine-month challenge.
- You can’t fail these courses and you won’t write any papers. You’ll connect with other women and reflect on where you want to grow in your own leadership skills.
- If you’ve already taken our courses, you don’t need to take them again, but do join the Know Your Neighbor Christian Women’s Leadership Challenge with us.
Do you prefer a more academic course of study?
- Take four semesters of courses through Samford University’s Ministry Training Institute. You’ll complete the Certificate in Women’s Leadership as you get to know your neighbors. Courses cost $199 each or $699 for all four courses.
- This is something new at Samford. It’s similar to our courses, but you’ll be writing some papers and getting some serious grades. One requirement of this course is to participate in the Know Your Neighbor Christian Women’s Leadership Challenge.
*All Bible quotations are from New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.®