The Neighborhood Prayer Challenge
The Church Mobilized
When we emerge from this time of quarantine, I wonder what the new normal will look like for us. Many questions come to mind as we think about what our new rhythm of life will look like post-contagion, and as we reboot our jobs or job searches, investment gains and losses, health protocols, and hygiene behaviors, etc. One thing is for sure, a major reset button has been pushed.
When thinking about what all of this means for the church, I have been reflecting on the large scale change that the early church experienced when believers suffered external persecution that spread the movement of the gospel from the Church at Jerusalem to other regions of the world. Their gatherings were interrupted and yet the witness of the gospel was mobilized. The church was scattered and the Kingdom of God was on the move in a new decentralized way.
As families, communities, and cities all over the world have been put in a medical time-out, we have been restricted to the smallest circles of relationships within our homes and close relationships. In many places, other than getting the essentials, our only other option is the open-air as we walk beside neighbors at a safe distance.
One outcome of the early scattered church happened in the city of Colossae when the Apostle Paul planted a church there. As I was reading the letter he wrote to the church, a passage jumped off the page as a fitting word for us today, “Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time” (Colossians 4:5). He adds, “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person” (Colossians 4:6).
A Missional Movement
As an application to Paul’s words, I want to invite you into a small missional movement starting here in the Charleston area. You can begin making the best use of the time by becoming a Neighborhood Ambassador - simply by walking, praying, listening, and obeying. It’s simple: choose a pattern to walk, pray for your neighbors by name, ponder ways you can connect/serve and obey whatever the Spirit leads you to do.
It is said to take 30-60 days to form a new habit. I wonder if the Spirit is on to something here with His church in leading us to connect with others close to us, but who are far from God. If you don’t know your neighbors by name, go to blesseveryhome.com and submit your address, then you will be able to know their name without asking and before walking past them!
To join the Neighborhood Prayer Challenge, visit missionchs.org. Our goal is to cover 10,000 miles of prayer-purposed foot traffic in the Charleston area by Easter Sunday (April 12). So sign up today and see what God does as you walk, pray, listen, and obey God!