Making time to listen and love right where we are is so important in times like these. Check out this beautiful excerpt from our friend Marty Troyer’s book, The Gospel Next Door, Following Jesus Right Where You Are:
Thousands of churches, families, and missional communities are following Jesus right where they are and are being transformed along with their neighborhoods.
Ordinary Christians are putting their faith into practice- taking Jesus seriously, joining God in healing their neighborhoods, and refusing to remain silent about what they’ve witnessed.
This story does not come naturally to most of us. Most of us inherited a story about mission centered on foreign missions, which has to do with a sender (local congregation or mission agency) sending special people (missionaries) to a special place (over there!) to do special things (missions).
Ordinary Christians, in this model, are demoted to secular careers that produce tithes and to church membership that invites volunteerism.
But God invites us into a more nuanced narrative. The mission of God invites us to imagine a new sender (God) who sends all people to the places they already live to restore all things. No longer do we compartmentalize super-Christians who respond to God’s call to go and second-class Christians who choose to stay.
Being a “normal Christian” actually means doing the very things Jesus would do if he were living our lives. True missional living invites us to imagine things differently: God, the gospel, the places we live, and our part in God’s restoration project.
Excerpted from The Gospel Next Door: Following Jesus Right Where You Are (Herald Press, 2016). Used by permission. Available for purchase on Amazon.com
A Real-Life Example of The Gospel Next Door
Churches all across Greater Houston are joining Jesus in His work around the world AND right here in our city. We hope you’ll be encouraged and inspired by Christ Evangelical Presbyterian Church’s journey!
“We love that a church-school partnership provides us with the opportunity to impact children, teachers, parents, and an entire community… right in our backyard! And yes, it does take intentional actions… but when you step out in faith, amazing things happen!” – Lori Petitclerc, CEPC
All across Greater Houston, churches like CEPC are coming alongside administrators, educators, and families to transform our communities together – one school and one child at a time. They’re also changing our neighbors’ perceptions of God and the Church through their faithful service! Imagine if EVERY school in EVERY neighborhood in Greater Houston had a church partner like CEPC, a body of believers committed to building authentic relationships, showing the love of Jesus, and offering hope for a brighter future in a very tangible way. Pray with us that more churches will commit to loving Houston by serving local schools.
John 13:35 “…By this everyone will know that you are my disciples,if you love one another.”