Learning to practice our faith, that is turn it into action, is a persistent question for those who walk the journey of faith. If faith is to be real, it also needs to be relevant to our journey in seeking God’s gifts as well as make a real difference in the world near us.
Somewhere in our “church lives” we have spent a good deal of time thinking about our relationship with God and somehow minimized the opportunity to work at shaping our relationships with our neighbors. It is my strong belief that what we do with our neighbors has a huge impact on our own faith development and our sense of God active in our own lives. It is not just for our neighbor that God invites us to work at our relationships with our neighbors. It is also enlightened self-interest. It matters in our own faith development how we engage and relate to others.
So, we propose ten things you can do that will shape your faith journey and bless your neighbor. These actions will be an important part of everything we do that is God’s work with our hands (hearts). These actions, invested well, will become a fountain of strength and encouragement to nurture and sustain faith in us and in others who know us.
Here are the ten actions we invite you to prayerfully live as you meet and engage your neighbors with the faith that is in you.
Recognize and Connect – “Called to New Depths of Knowing and Loving Our Neighbors”
- Recognize one another – people yearn to be seen and heard.
- Connect with your neighbors, colleagues, strangers, friends.
Acknowledge and Care – “I See You! And the Circle of Hospitality.”
- Acknowledge that God is working through you and others for His purpose.
- Care for one another.
Affirm and Call Forward (invite) – “Naming, Appreciating and Inviting Another to Participate.
- Affirm one another.
- Call Forward (invite) people to activities, to events, to community, to join you – even at church.
Encourage and Empower – “Bringing Support and Encouragement to Bear.”
- Encourage one another.
- Empower people to live out their spiritual gifts and their most authentic selves.
Nurture and Pray For – “Lift Them Up – and Lift Them Before God”
- Pray (for) one another.
- Nurture one another as we grow in our faith.