In the Neighborhood, Opportunity Knocks Softly

Walking home from a friend’s house and cutting through the driveway of our neighbor behind our house (the gate there is quite useful), my family bumped into the neighbor.  He was getting some tools ready for something – nothing creepy I was hoping – and I simply asked what he was planning.

He invited me to tag along as he helped mark roads for a cycle race that was occurring a few days later. (I must not have looked busy.)  I hesitated for a moment, but finally lumbered lazily into the land of commitment after my wife persuaded me with a “Duh, that’s why we’re here.”

For a little backstory….

We bought a house and moved into this neighborhood a few years back to begin forming relationships, serving, and eating with people who may or may not know Jesus. We formed what we call a “missional community.” We wanted our lives to be tangible examples of the Kingdom of God, and our relationship with Jesus to be a fragrance where there was none. We prayed consistently for opportunities to meet neighbors, to have our lives intersect, to become a part of each other’s worlds.

And when we broke through the ice, I barely noticed.  And when I did notice, I was hesitant? Not cool. My fears of rejection and my approval-seeking heart sometimes just get in the way of the Gospel on display.

My fears of rejection and my approval-seeking heart sometimes get in the way of the Gospel on display.Click To Tweet

We hung out half of the next day (through a few meals and snacks) doing the mundane setting up of a race. Nothing earth-shattering whatsoever. Just becoming friends. All it took was a “Yes…” to helping a neighbor.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve missed an opportunity to deepen a relationship like this.

In the neighborhood, opportunity knocks softly.

In the neighborhood, opportunity knocks softly.Click To Tweet


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Evan Blackerby
Missional Community Practitioner
Evan works alongside others to create a missional community in his neighborhood. He also seeks to encourage other disciples in their journeys towards starting missional communities in their contexts.
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