How many church members live within walking distance of your home? How many live within walking distance of your church building (if you have one)?
We have found this to be really helpful in building community. We don’t pop around for cups of sugar anymore. Facebook and WhatsApp are ubiquitous, but when you need to use someone’s washing machine when yours suddenly fails, it helps to have church folk around the corner.
When my wife went into labour in the middle of the night, a church friend came to look after our other children while we went to the hospital. When our middle child was struggling with homework they popped to see a teacher in the church. When we needed to borrow some ladders, we just carried them over from a friend 10 minutes walk away. And our neighbours simply couldn’t get their head around 15 teenagers coming to hang out at our home on a Friday night.
The church community is a model, an example for the local neighbourhood to see. Really – the way we love one another is a crucial witness. ‘By this will all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another’ John 13:35.
The community won’t see us loving one another if we live miles apart, if the places we live, work and worship are some distance from one another.
Back to the opening question then; How many of your church members live within walking distance of your home? And how intentional are you about sharing life together?