How to Empower Your Church to Reach Your Neighborhood - Radical

How to Empower Your Church to Reach Your Neighborhood

For many people, the home-buying experience can be an extremely stressful time. There are so many variables to consider. How many rooms? How many bathrooms? Has the kitchen been redone? What is the square footage? Can our current or future family fit in this space? All of these are important questions to ask and should be considered in the purchase of a home. 

After unpacking our boxes and setting up all of the rooms, do we ever consider the other people on our street? Do we ever ask the question, “What is it like to live on this street, with these neighbors?” When we made our first purchase, my wife and I never did. We saw the asking price and said, “We will take it and make it work.”

But what we never thought to consider was how radically the people we live near can and do shape our lives and experiences in our neighborhoods. In a broken country, increasing in hostility towards truth found in Scripture, what if the body of Christ took encouragement from Scripture to build beautiful things in the houses and neighborhoods we call home?

In Jeremiah 29, the Israelites are encouraged by God, through the prophet in verses 4–7:

Build houses and live in them. Plant gardens and eat their produce. Find wives for yourselves, and have sons and daughters. Find wives for your sons and give your daughters to men in marriage so that they may bear sons and daughters. Multiply there; do not decrease. Pursue the well-being of the city I have deported you to. Pray to the Lord on its behalf, for when it thrives, you will thrive.

As both ambassadors for the kingdom of God and exiles (1 Peter 2:9–12) in a world pitted against the Lord, the best hope our neighbors have to hear the gospel is through men and women sitting in your pews who have been equipped and commissioned to reach their street. A pastor can’t live on all of the streets of the community he serves. Nobody has the capacity to disciple everyone in their city. But through faithful discipleship rooted in Scripture, church members can bring that hope to their neighborhoods.

A pastor can’t live on all the streets of his community, but a Church can disciple far and wide.

Storyline Church sits on the outskirts of Denver, Colorado, in a city called Arvada. We are sandwiched between the large city of Denver and the city of Boulder, which is an enclave for modern-day pagan and humanistic worship. In a culture where people have been isolated by COVID and divided by increasingly contentious elections, many people in our city feel ill-equipped, unprepared, and uninspired to reach their neighbors. What if they’re weird? What if they don’t believe the same things I do? What if they voted differently than me? The Great Commission and Great Commandment have not changed. So how do we equip our saints to do the work of the ministry? (Ephesians 4:12)

20 years ago, Arvada was the hub of the neighboring movement. In a meeting with our mayor, Dave Runyon, and the local faith community were asked if they could simply encourage their members to be good neighbors. Imagine that? A government official asks the church to love their neighbors well.

So our church strategy runs in the same vein and vision set 20 and 2,000 years ago. We are asking our members to consider two things: First, who are the eight closest neighbors to you? Second, how can you pray for them, care for them, and share with them today?

Pray, Care, and Share

Pray for neighbors by knowing their names and their needs. Care for your neighbors by building genuine relationships by spending time with them and taking time to serve them. Share with your neighbors by inviting them into your story of faith, your home, and ultimately, into your church family.

Who are the closest neighbors to you? How can you pray for them and care for them today?

In the metro Denver area, 88% of our city is spiritually lethargic, lost, and leading comfortable lives to hell. That’s over 2.6 million people and growing every day. How has the Lord called you to a place of exile in this world and encouraged you to seek the thriving of the city? My prayer for the church is that we would take a moment before we consider a trip across an ocean to serve and consider a trip across the street to care for and share with our neighbors.

Kyle Mack

Kyle Mack serves as Director of Missions at Storyline Church in Arvada, Colorado. He and his wife, Katie, have three boys.


That means that the people with the most urgent spiritual and physical needs are receiving the least support. You can help change that!