One of the greatest privileges we have as believers is to share with others how God’s grace in Christ has transformed our own lives. Unfortunately, we tend to think of outreach in terms of “show and tell,” rather than “sit down and be quiet,” taking the necessary time to listen to the stories and heartbreaks of others rather than launching into a pre-rehearsed “gospel presentation.” Indeed, Jesus said next to loving God, loving our neighbor is the greatest command we can keep (Matt 22:38-39). To “love” our neighbors does not necessarily involve warm feelings and tender affections. It means to regard them as valuable and significant because they’re made in the image of God. Gospel neighboring, then, is a good and necessary prerequisite for gospel messaging.
But how do we love our neighbors when the world is so disconnected right now? Many people’s faces are buried in their screens most of the day. A sizable number of folks walking down the street have earphones in their heads, largely oblivious to what’s happening around them. Suburbanites can open their garage doors automatically and drive right into their homes without ever talking to a single neighbor. Worst of all, lockdowns and restrictions during a worldwide pandemic can make it difficult to interact with others on a personal level. Deep down, folks in our day crave reconnection, so in this series, we look at some necessary attitudes and practical approaches for radiating the gospel in a disconnected world.