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Neighboring is a Verb

Have you ever used a neighborhood-based social media app? They are social media platforms, like Facebook or Instagram, but specific to your neighborhood. You log in, select the bounds of your neighborhood, and then you’re connected with all the other people who use the app and live near you.
In an ideal world, neighbors would use the apps to connect, share local resources, gather around causes close to home, and promote neighborhood safety. (In the real world, they also use them for political arguments and petty complaints—such is the nature of social media.)

These apps highlight a profound part of being human: even in an increasingly digital world, we long to connect with other people over shared experiences in real space and time. We want to hear from people who speak our language, communicate with people who drive the same roads we do, and be encouraged by people who know the same local businesses, weather patterns, and school systems. Small-town politics, rival city newspapers, the face you see when you watch local weather reports: these are the quirky ties that bind us. And to be human is to want more.

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It is my conviction that no matter where we live, we live there for a purpose—and that purpose is, most likely, people. God has planted each one of us in a time and place, surrounded by people he loves, filled with an innate desire to connect with those people.

The shared experience of neighboring fills us with Christlike, incarnational empathy that leads to love. It stirs us to action. It compels us to go out of our way to love our neighbors as ourselves.

This is why I believe so strongly in Every Home’s ministry model. Our primary method of carrying Christ to everyone, everywhere is not to send foreign missionaries to faraway places but to inspire and empower the believers God has already planted to carry Christ to their own neighborhoods.

This looks different in every community around the world, but it’s always fruitful—because it’s how love works. We love in proximity, through time and presence. We love in shared space. Every Home is a global network of catalysts committed to multiplying that kind of love in every nation on Earth.

I invite you to reflect on the place where you’ve been planted. Who are the people just outside your door? What are their names? What do you know of their lives, families, and stories? What do they know of yours? How have you experienced their kindness? Open your heart to any way the Lord might lead you to carry his presence wherever you find yourself today.

Thank you for being part of this Every Home neighboring network—on your street, and around the world.

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