Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. (Romans 15:2)
We have really good fences in the suburbs. Some of them are plank on plank on plank, leaving no cracks from which to view our neighbors. The taller the better it seems.
The saying goes that good fences make for good neighbors. That may well be true. Fences can give you privacy and keep your dogs contained. Fences and privacy are good things.
There are certain types of people that are front porch people. Now, front porch people (or “FPPs”) used to be more common back before we lobotomized ourselves in front of the television at night – but they are still around. An FPP spends time out front where there are no fences, where neighbors drive up and people walk by.
You notice things when you hang out in the front. You see the man down the street in his wrinkled suit after a long day at the office eagerly walking in to see his family. You see the widow gardening. You notice when a car is gone for a long period of time or when a moving truck pulls up. You notice your neighbor signing “I love you” through the windshield to his wife as she backs down the driveway.
2 Corinthians 5:20 says we are ambassadors for Christ. We represent him in the world.
Picture a U.S. ambassador to a foreign country. He arrives on his plane and he is taken by car to the embassy. Once there, he buries himself in email and busywork – never leaving the embassy. He learns nothing about the people and he never allows himself to rub shoulders with the locals. What kind of ambassador would he be?
If you are a follower of Jesus, consider your home an embassy. It is a stronghold for the kingdom of God. Given our affluence and the creature comforts we all enjoy, it’s easy to hang out in the embassy. But that isn’t where ambassadorship happens. Ambassadorship happens in the public square: at work, in the streets, in restaurants, at the gym, at school, etc. When we get out there, we engage with others, and this allows us to learn their story. When we walk outside our walls, we push back darkness and engage in the battle against the spiritual forces of darkness (Ephesians 6).
In October, there are two teed up events to enjoy your neighbors in close proximity to The Door Church:
- National Night Out (Coppell) – 10/4
- Halloween – 10/31*
*Don’t get all weird about Halloween, by the way. Though originally a Celtic tradition that had something to do with warning off roaming ghosts by wearing costumes (and I must grant that is weird), it has also been celebrated as “Hallows Eve” the day before All Saints Day. All Saints Day is a day to honor martyrs of the past. Halloween is what you make of it. Kids, candy, and costumes are fun. I’m down for that. But even better is the opportunity to get to know neighbors and spend time together. Redeem it. Make it an opportunity to be an ambassador for Jesus by hanging with your neighbors.
I have lived by people who I barely knew. Lots of them. And I think that’s a tragedy. God made each of them a masterpiece, and there I sit on the couch. I pray that the Lord would shove me out the front door and into the life of someone who needs his hope.
Let’s be FPPs. Let’s carry the gospel into our neighborhoods. Let’s step out of our embassies to spend time with the people God has put around us. Let’s be ambassadors.