- Influential Self Leadership: Preach the Gospel to yourself.
- Influential Church Leadership: Disciples make disciples.
- Influential Family Leadership: Parents are the primary disciple-makers in their children's lives.
- Influential Work Leadership: Work hard, work smart, and trust God.
I have to share the circumstances around this specific topic in the class. Just like every other topic, the first week was focused on prayer, how to pray, and taking time to pray. However, there was no second week of class and we haven't had church since. So the Community study did not finish because of the March shelter in place order.
I challenged the class to go out and get to know your neighbors. Then the Michigan government said to limit contact with others. And that order is still in effect today (04.17). Here are two reasons why I believe the topic of Influential Community Leadership is still very important.
- We can influence our communities during this time in different ways.
- This time of shelter-in-place will end. What will you do then?
Lawyer: How do I inherit eternal life?
Jesus: Love God with your and love your neighbor as yourself.
Lawyer: Who is my neighbor?
Jesus tells the parable and the asks "Who was a neighbor?"Jesus concludes the lesson with the "Go and do likewise."
Jesus told the lawyer and the reader that in order to inherit eternal life you must worship God perfectly and love your neighbor perfectly. The problem is we cannot do these things.
Jesus is the Great Samaritan, the example of perfect love.
Those who have been saved by the Great Samaritan will be Good Samaritans.
Jesus not only commanded his disciples to love their neighbors.
He provided the perfect example of this love and He provided the only way we can live this way - through His death and resurrection and in the power of the Holy Spirit.
God has placed each of us in our neighborhoods to give testimony of God's amazing grace by living out Christ-dependent, neighbor-loving, Spirit-empowered lives.
Do you live in such a way that shows those around you the greatness of God or the selfishness of your heart?
Love everyone, even your "undeserving, unlovable" neighbor because God loved you, an "undeserving, unlovable" person, so much that he sent His son.
In The Gospel Comes with a House Key, Rosaria Butterfield writes "We trust God's power more than we trust our limitations, and we know that he never gives a command without giving the grace to perform it."
God commands us to love our neighbors.
He also gives us THE example of loving the undeserved, the reason we should love everyone, even our enemies, and the power that enables us to love everyone, even the unlovable.
THE example of love undeserved: Romans 5:8 "but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us."
The reason to show love: 1 John 3:16. "By this, we know love, that [Jesus] laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers."
The power to give testimony of God's love: Acts 1:8. "But 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."
Here are some very basic, practical things to do:
- Pray that you and your family would show love to your community.
- Pray that your neighbors would see the love of Christ in your family and call out to God to save them from their sin.
- Pray with your neighbors. This may be actually praying with them or asking them how you can pray for them.
- Serve neighbors because Christ loved you so much that he died for you.
This time of social isolation makes getting involved with your neighbors very difficult but it is still very much needed. So how do you influence your neighbors when in isolation? Here are a couple of specific, practical suggestions we have heard about or been able to do this last month.
- Take advantage of things others have set up. A woman in our neighborhood organized a nightly singing of "God Bless America." We haven't seen many people do this but we have made an effort to go out on our sidewalk and sing and pray with our neighbors while practicing social distancing.
- Greet people. When out on walks or outside make it a point to be friendly and say hello to people you see.
- HERE is an online resource The Art of Neighboring COVID-19 Tool Kit. Don't try to do everything on this site.