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Meeting My Neighbors

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tn who is my neighbor wide tUnder the direction of Pastor Johns, our young adults, even those new to Metro, have been leading us in ministries to help the community surrounding the church.  These times we are living in are called ‘Post Religious’, meaning religion does not matter anymore; so I get excited when I see young adults taking the lead in ministries that embrace the community and spread God’s love. It says a lot about our church when others see people of all age groups working together.

Last Sabbath (July 13), we went out two-by-two to introduce ourselves to our neighbors in Ridgecrest, talk with them, and collect prayer requests. We were tasked with visiting eight houses and received responses at three of them. My daughter Lauren was my partner and I was happy and proud to have her with me, because the first house we visited was answered by a young lady and Lauren was able to talk her on a personal level.  After introducing ourselves and the church we belonged to, we asked the young lady if she had any special prayer requests. She said no and was about to close the door, but we quickly started talking about the new Ministry Center that we built to better serve the community. This caught her interest and we were able to tell her about some of the exciting new ministries the center would offer. 

After this experience, at the next two houses visited, we started our conversation with the Ministry Center and noticed that this made it easier to grab the homewoners' attention, because they were curious about the construction that occurred over the past few years.  Although none of the people we talked with had specific prayer requests, they did say they would come by to see us.

While ministering to the community I also learned that ‘listening’ to our neighbors is just as important as ‘telling’ the people about our church.  If we listen well to what the people we visit tell us, we can get a good conversation going and get to know them better. At one of the houses we visited, a minister answered the door.  He said his name was Reverend ‘ Smith’ (not his real name). Sadly on my part, I did not catch the ‘Reverend’ when he said it, so I missed the opportunity to ask him about his church or his perspective, as a minister, about some of the problems in the community.  I could even have asked him if he would have liked to meet our pastors.

Altogether, it was truly a blessing to tell our neighbors about what God wants to do through us in this community.  I cannot wait for another opportunity to go out with our young adults, and the rest of the church that they have inspired with their enthusiasm, to do service for God.  I pray that the dedication and sacrifice of our young people will spur greater, enthusiastic support from more than a few of us "older" adults.

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My family visited Metro about 20 years ago and when we saw how good the children and youth ministries here were, we got stuck here.  These ministries helped a great deal in the spiritual and cultural development of our family.  That is why I have been an Adventurer counselor for the past 18 years, and why my wife, as busy as she is, has been a Pathfinder counselor for about the same period.