When we think about the magnitude of seeing every life saturated with the gospel of Jesus Christ and how many people live in our cities, it can become overwhelming. For some, that overwhelming feeling can immobilize us. Moving from big ideas to simple, tangible steps seems essential to see mobilization happen.
What if we could mobilize people by shifting our thinking from every person saturated with the good news of Jesus to each person?
What if saturating the city was as simple as moving from my impact on every person in the city, to taking responsibility for each person on my street?
In the spring of 2020, as church doors closed and people were working from home, we saw a beautiful opportunity to challenge people to make a significant impact right where they were, with the neighbors on their street. That challenge looked like committing to take responsibility for a street(s) in their neighborhood by prayer-walking during their week. The steps were simple:
1) Identify the street(s) you will pray for, and set a day/time that you will walk and pray.
2) Pray as you walk, thanking God for the people in your neighborhood, and asking Him to show you ways to display His love.
3) Listen to God and engage neighbors in conversation. Be prepared to hear from God and needs a neighbor may share. Look for opportunities to go further than prayer to serve your neighbors in tangible ways.
4) Be obedient to anything God shows you along the way. Here is the FUN part: follow through on what you hear. For example, do yard work for an elderly person/single mom, ask a neighbor with a great yard or garden to come over and give you advice about your yard/garden, offer to help a neighbor with a house project or lend them your tools, invite your neighbor’s kids to your child’s birthday party, or see if another dog-owner wants to join you the next time you take your dog on a walk.
To keep things fun when we did this in our city, a challenge was issued to register the number of miles a person/family were committing to pray over a two-week time. A simple Facebook page logging neighbors’ creative ideas and a Google form was set up for communication. People grabbed hold of the idea and began inviting others to join them. When the two-week challenge was over, we saw over 100 neighborhoods prayer-walked around our city and 3,400 miles of prayer logged.
We were reminded that our commitment to seeing every life saturated with the gospel begins when we take responsibility for each person God has placed in front of us. Helping people move from big ideas that can sometimes feel so daunting to simple tangible forms is what Jesus did so well. We recall His response to the greatest of all the commandments in Mark 12:29-31: “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
What if saturating the city with the good news of Jesus was really more about saturating the street we lived on?
What if God was going to use everyday people to be ambassadors of Him in their neighborhoods?
What if people walked, prayed, listened, and then were obedient to the simple, small things God led them to do?
What if that was you?
As we move toward Easter, we want to be more aware of our deep need for Jesus and enjoy time with Him, both listening to Him through His Spirit and sharing our heart, needs, and desires with Him. We’ll work through the Lord’s Prayer from Matthew 6 over four weeks starting Sunday, March 20, taking a full week in each piece of the prayer Jesus taught us.
We’ll be posting daily prayer prompts on Instagram @saturatetheworld and we’d love it if you would journey with us.