Reaching Out in a New Neighborhood

joelOn Monday’s blog, I gave the first part of Michael Sove’s outreach testimony (Michael is the guy on the right with sunglasses). Michael is the cell champion at Allen Memorial Baptist Church (Bill Warren, the man on the left, is the senior pastor of Allen Memorial Baptist Church). Here’s part two of Michael Sove’s testimony: bill and michael

At this party I discovered many new bridges to my neighbors. Next week I’ll be golfing with one; this Friday we are going to another couple’s house to teach them a new board game. The following Friday we will attend a football game with a single mom whose son is on the local team. The open doors are limitless and I have never experienced this level of openness in all my years of ministry. I directly relate it to prayer walking and making myself available!

One story is worth repeating and reflects what God is doing. Last week a new family arrived and I noticed they were from California. I try to get to newcomers within 24 hours simply to introduce myself and welcome them to the community. So my wife and I stopped by and introduced ourselves. While standing in their driveway my wife noticed a MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers – a Christian ministry) sticker in the car window. We found out that their furniture wasn’t due until the following week. On my way home from our celebration services the next day the Holy Spirit prompted me to go over and offer to help the neighbor put in his garage door opener which was laying on the garage floor. He thanked me for the offer and said he couldn’t put it up because he was missing a bracket. It was then that the Holy Spirit gave me another prompting. I said to my new neighbor that he had two choices for dinner, he could either take his family out and pay for dinner (I was looking at an empty house) or come over to my place for free pizza.

He was thankful for my offer and sure enough they called shortly after. As we stood over the pizza that evening I asked if it would be okay if I prayed before we ate (I always ask when I’m unsure if they are Christian) and they said that was fine. As I closed my prayer their little seven year old belted out “Amen!” I now knew I was probably standing with new neighbors who were Christians. The next two hours we shared testimonies of God’s work in our lives and really knitted our hearts together. They told me that their neighbor who I had reached out to previously had invited them to attend my cookout the following weekend. Like I said, the neighborhood is working together. Yesterday they came with their two children and had a wonderful time meeting all the other neighbors.

This morning I received a call from one of my neighbors saying that the family called her and said they had to take the two year old to the hospital because of some medical problems and asked this neighbor to call me for prayer. Not only was I able to go to the hospital and pray over this mother and child, my other neighbor is going to watch the other child as the father goes with me to the airport to pick up a friend who is flying in from the west coast to help them at this time. I also sent this prayer request to all the cells in our Church. God is doing great things at Cedar Commons!

I want to challenge all of you to consider what you could do in your neighborhood as well. It’s nice being in a brand new development but there is nothing stopping any of you from walking through your neighborhood, praying as you go and asking the Holy Spirit for “Divine Encounters.” Walk – Pray – Talk, you can claim your neighborhood for Christ as well!

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