Vision/Mission: With Neighbourhood Life, we have embraced “transforming lives and communities in Christ” central to our vision and mission. This Neighbourhood Life strategy seeks to embrace this vision by recognizing that one of the communities that needs the transformational presence of Christ is our neighbourhood. This approach takes seriously a theology of place, in which we are called to “bloom where we are planted”. At the heart of this model is the call to love our neighbours, the certainty that our neighbours’ lives need transformation, and the assurance that Christ “dwells among us.”
1. Story: In our neighbourhood, Evan and Shannon came to Christ a year ago. They renewed their vows after being separated for 3 years. This past year they reconciled with her two sons whom they have not talked with for the past 5 years. What a Christmas it was for them…and that they were so filled with joy that they immediately phoned us.
2. First Baptist Church has welcomed the discipleship training of Neighbourhood Life including 4 NL participants and three sermons. Other churches are also considering training since the Wolfcreek Church started allowing us to experiment more than a year ago.
3. We have just released our book, “Neighbouring for Life.” Available online to order or download as eBook.
4. The City of Red Deer has renewed my contracted services for training leaders in various neighbourhoods throughout Central Alberta. This is a unique relationship and, albeit small in terms of hours and wages, opens many doors to share the Kingdom of God and Christ.
5. Our Good Neighbour Coffee House is near signing a lease and will create a presence in the greater community for the Neighbourhood Life ministry and Good Neighbour Coffee, as well as create funds for the ministry.
Looking back over the last year there was one reoccurring lesson which could be summed up in one word; motivation. For many, it can be difficult to love your neighbours unconditionally. Over time it becomes more natural, but at first it can seem like there is no motivation or perhaps motivation with expectations or conditions. One person challenged me with the question, “What motivates the heart to love our neighbours?” For some, neighbours across the street or down the road, have seemed more distant than those we know who live across town or in another city. Others have simply communicated their desire for neighbours to stay independent of each other, deeming them out of reach. Still some have demonstrated that, although their motivation could not be identified, the hard work of reclaiming community in our back yards was still necessary. The beauty of this all is that those who diligently “tried something” in their neighbourhood came away with a story or two that created a little fuel for moving forward.