“Love the Lord your God with all your heart… love your neighbor as yourself.”

Mark 12:30-31

The late Eugene Peterson was once asked, “If you could change one thing about the American church, what would it be?” Peterson responded, “I would make everyone go to the church closest to their home.” What an interesting comment. He was pointing out how society has changed. Churches used to be more rooted in neighborhoods and more connected to the needs of those people. The idea of churches caring for their neighbors nearby is nearly gone as people now gather from far and wide, often in search of a particular style of ministry or music.

Consider this: if your church just up and moved one day, would the neighborhood even miss it? Is there a way you can encourage reaching out to those nearby? Perhaps we can apply the Greatest Commandment to our literal neighbors.

We may not be able to change the modern church as a whole, but we surely can change our own perspective. Show love to those in the neighborhood where you live. Being sensitive to their needs is a way of loving God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.

Scripture Focus

James 2:14-26


Pray for your own neighborhood. How can you be salt and light there? How can you love your neighbors and reflect the love of Jesus?

Bible In A Year

  • Isaiah 18-19
  • Psalm 80
  • John 21