“The Art of Neighboring.” In today’s culture, it can be difficult to know our neighbors in real and meaningful ways. Between the ever-increasing responsibilities of our jobs and the hectic schedules of our kids/grandkids, we just don’t seem to have the time to build community relationships. And unfortunately, that lack of relational connection inhibits our ministry and witness. Significantly in times past, we welcomed our neighbors with some cookies, or maybe even a lemon ice box pie. I believe a simple invitation to dinner or even the provision of a casserole during bereaved moments spoke volumes. You see, we knew what neighboring was; now, we simply need to rediscover it. That can happen as we intentionally seek to be a neighbor. And remember, the art of neighboring is a Gospel issue! The most effective way to share the Gospel is through relationships . . . and the more relationships you develop, the greater your testimony/ministry impact!
I am grateful for a community of faith who is committed to this God-sized agenda and for my fellow leadership (staff, deacons, etc.) who daily help communicate the vision. I was especially blessed to see over 450 folks somehow involved in our Art of Neighboring study last Sunday night, and I pray that you will consider being a part of one of our on-campus/off-campus groups this coming Sunday. And of course, my prayer priority is that we would activate that neighboring lifestyle throughout the week!
Also, I ask you to consider your financial support for the missionary endeavor here in the state of Louisiana. Through the collection of what we call the Georgia Barnette State Missions Offering, we support church planting/compassion ministries/disaster relief/etc. throughout our own state. The Georgia Barnette resources can even touch our local communities. For example, some of these funds assisted the expansion of Bethlehem Hispanic Mission in Vienna a couple of years ago. Many of you remember that we helped this Hispanic mission get its start right here in the Temple Chapel. Now, they have assumed the facilities at Vienna Baptist Church (which disbanded), and their fellowship continues to grow! And as I mentioned recently, Louisiana Baptist leadership has indicated that some of these funds will assist us as the work at The Springs moves forward. In other words, we will see what Georgia Barnette can do right here! Through the resources of local churches and the Georgia Barnette offering, we will continue to see God’s work accomplished among the nations . . . even when the nations have arrived in our backyard! To date, we have collected approximately $16,000 of our $27,000 goal for Georgia. Please consider your contribution to this worthy effort!
I look forward to beginning a new sermon series on the life of Jesus this Sunday! See you then!