Aug 24, 2021
“Reaching Our Neighbors”
Acts 1:8; Matthew 28:19; Luke 14:23
Acts 1:8 – “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
We’re continuing our “Reach” teaching series where we’re highlighting our REACH priority at Crossgate Church. Our purpose is to make “more and better disciples for Jesus Christ.”
And during the month of August especially, we’re asking ourselves this question: “How are we going to make ‘more disciples’ without a reach and an outward focus on those outside these walls?
This week and next week, we’re going to get very practical with what we share:
For now, let’s consider how we can reach our neighbors for Jesus Christ along two lines: (1) taking every opportunity and (2) making every opportunity.
1) Taking Every Opportunity
I invite you to examine the following scripture when Jesus told his disciples to “GO” and verbalize the Gospel (Matthew 28:18-20)
The point that I want to make regarding that scripture is that, grammatically speaking, Jesus commanded his followers to verbalize the Gospel “as they were going” or “while they were going.” That is, they were to engage others with the Gospel while they were out and about living their lives.
What does this mean for us? It means that as we live our lives in Hot Springs and Garland County, as we’re out and about here and there and everywhere, we should take every opportunity to be a verbal witness and a non-verbal witness for Jesus Christ. Let’s get very practical now and talk about ways to do that in the coming days.
Invitational witness - One of the easiest ways to engage your neighbors is to invite them to one of our many gatherings on campus, whether that is our Sunday worship service, Lifegroups, Wednesday Night activities, or events such as our upcoming Trunk N’ Treat.
Testimonial witness - As we mentioned last week, the story of how you were saved will always be your best witness. And I’m going to conduct some very practical training on Wednesday nights in October and early November that will equip you to share your testimony in a concise and compelling way.
Relational witness - Building relational bridges with your actual neighbors in your neighborhoods is critical for reaching them. One easy way to do this is through a website called, “Bless Every Home.” Visit: www.crossgate.org/prayer for more information.
Neighborhood Hangouts. These are exactly what they sound like—opportunities to hang out with your neighbors with redemptive relationships in mind. Examples could be block parties, football watch parties, etc.
Digital witness. Just about everyone listening to the sound of my voice has opportunity for a digital witness—social media being your primary outlet. Our team plans to ramp up our most shareable content to make it as easy as possible for you to pass on the digital Gospel witness of Crossgate Church to those in your digital sphere of influence.
Vehicular witness. Nearly everyone 16 years and older drives, and you’ve probably noticed that most people use their cars and trucks to advertise something so why not use your vehicle to identify with Crossgate Church? I want to encourage you to get a Crossgate decal from Wholly Grounds—they only cost $4.00—and use your vehicle as a rolling witness for the Gospel thru Crossgate Church.
As we live our lives, God wants us to build bridges with our neighbors and those close proximity that we might share Jesus . . . as we go . . . taking every opportunity that comes our way.
2) Making Every Opportunity
If Jesus commanded us to be witnesses “as we go” here and there and everywhere and take every opportunity that comes our way, Jesus was also adamant that we should make opportunities by going at specific times and places specifically to be witnesses.
So what are some practical ways we can engage people and share the Gospel?
Feed the homeless – We have a quarterly ministry where we prepare food and then deliver it to those in need.
Evangelistic breakfast and lunches. One of the easiest ways to make an opportunity is to set up a breakfast or lunch with someone who (1) you know is lost or (2) you’re not sure is either saved or lost and use that opportunity to share your testimony and/or share the Gospel with a call to respond.
Pray & Go. In the coming days, you’re going to hear more about “Pray & Go.” How does it work? Pray & Go is basically a series of prayer walks where you and few other people (ideally from your LifeGroup) go to a neighborhood and pray for the homes and the people inside. As you progress through the neighborhood, you place a door hanger on the front door that contains the message “We prayed for you” along with some basic info about Crossgate Church.
Are you ready to take every opportunity and make every opportunity for Jesus Christ?