By Justin Rossow

It started as a conversation among a few staff people this summer.

Did you know our church is a Pokestop?

Wait, what?

So people might show up here at St. Luke just because they are playing a game on their phones? You caught a Pidgey in the parking lot?? What are you talking about??

When we realized the Pokemon Go phenomenon was incorporating the St. Luke sign into their augmented reality, your staff asked, how could we be good neighbors?

It’s the kind of question we are asking all of our St. Luke family to consider. How might your home or your yard or your cubicle at work be inviting, open to relationship, or just plain neighborly? Sharing this journey of faith is certainly about connecting people to Jesus. And it also means being a safe person and having an inviting attitude.

I like how Carl Medearis puts it: “It’s not rocket science. Be nice and talk about Jesus all the time.”

It starts with being nice, being a good neighbor.

So your St. Luke staff went to work. We trimmed the tree out front, bought some benches that said, “Welcome,” and even made water available for our neighbors who might be stopping by because our church sign is a part of their game. (The Pokemon specific labels on the bottles were a friendly touch!)

IMG_8358

But we didn’t stop there. We paired that idea with the growing phenomenon of a Little Free Library. Perhaps you have seen these small book depositories on the side of the road or next to a sidewalk in your neighborhood: they often look like a small house on a mailbox post.

The idea is simple: serve your friends and neighbors by creating a place where they can come and find, and share, good books. It creates community. It offers a friendly welcome. It’s just being neighborly.

IMG_8359

So we now have a Little Free Library at St. Luke, and some Welcome benches to sit on while you read or play Pokemon Go.

None of us thinks that two benches and a glorified birdhouse will magically make disciples of Jesus. But it is one way our church staff can try to be a better neighbor to the people that walk or drive by us day by day.

What might that look like for you?

In what ways could you open your home, your thinking, your heart to people in the homes and cars and offices next to you? How might you or your family be neighborly this week?

It’s not the only thing Jesus-followers do as they engage their community. But perhaps it’s a place to start.

In the name of Jesus, be a friendly neighbor. And then see what happens next …