By Matt Hein

We’ve been reading Joining Jesus on His Mission as a congregation for a few weeks now. Among the many words and phrases that have grabbed my attention are these sentences:

“So open your eyes and look around. Notice the people who are already there. We can be sure that Jesus is up to something redemptively in their lives.” (Finke, 34)

If I am honest with myself, the people in my neighborhood blend into the background far too often. I see them but I don’t often see them through the eyes of Jesus. That’s why the quote above has been so helpful to me. Being reminded that Jesus is up to something in their lives has helped me notice my neighbors with a little more clarity lately. How about you? How are you seeing the people around you? How is Jesus inviting you to see them?

Taking a next step in living missionally is what our series Joining Jesus on His Mission is all about. Missional living is a response to the grace of God that has been given to us through the death and resurrection of Jesus. Saved by his grace, our eyes are opened to the people around us that he also desires to receive his grace. Jesus invites us to come along with him and participate in his mission by building relationships and pointing others to him. He covers that invitation with his promise to be with us always, to the very end of the age.

Sometime during the week of February 19, 2017, everyone at St. Luke is invited to take a next step in living missionally by blessing and connecting with someone in their neighborhood/community. Of the many opportunities before us, one option is to host a neighborhood open house (block party in the warmer months!).

A neighborhood open house is an opportunity for neighbors to get together in a home, meet each other, and have fun. By getting together, you may learn what people are passionate about and skilled at. You may begin to see the collective neighborhood potential for doing good together, perhaps finding ways to bless those who need a little extra help from time to time. You never know what Jesus will do when you notice and start getting to know the people around you.

Finally, an open house is an excuse to have fun and celebrate. While we want all people to know and follow Jesus, the goal of a neighborhood open house is to have a great time getting to know the people around you. It is a time to enjoy each other’s company and watch for where Jesus is working. If Jesus opens a door for a spiritual conversation, by all means, take the opportunity. However, please begin by praying for the beginning of ongoing relationships and have a great time!

An open house is not the only missional living activity you could engage in, but if you decide to go for it and plan a neighborhood open house, click here for a guide to planning a successful event. Use the suggested plan but modify it to make the event uniquely your own.