On Super Bowl Sunday my wife Katie and I distributed 20 special-issue Insight magazines to our neighbors. The magazine was published as an outreach tool to be used on Super Bowl Sunday, as the articles brought spiritual lessons out of professional football. Our apartment complex has about 10 units in it, and we attached a brief note to the cover of Insight and put them on people’s doors before we went to the young adult Super Bowl party. One snippet from our note said, “If you need any pastoral care such as prayer, a visit in the hospital, or would be interested in doing Bible studies, feel free to call/text our cell…”
Within hours our neighbor Jill* called us. She was thrilled to get our note—as she has been looking for someone to pray with her. She comes from Pakistan, and has lived in St. Louis for many years. She said she was not really a Christian, but that she is very inspired by Christ and the Bible. A prior neighbor had given her a Bible about five years ago as they were moving out, and Jill has been reading it since.
Jill had asked her Christian coworkers to pray with her in the past, but they never did it consistently. So she had been praying that God would bring someone into her life to pray with and for her regularly, and she believes we are an answer to that prayer. Jill and Katie have become friends, and Jill has come to our apartment a couple of times to pray.
We told Jill that we were Seventh-day Adventist Christians. When we learned she was from an Arab country, we focused on similarities Adventists have with Muslims: not eating pork or drinking alcohol. She said that I am the first pastor she has heard of that doesn’t eat pork.
I am excited to see the Lord leading through this simple outreach. What would happen if all of us reached out to our neighbors in some way—letting them know that we care about them? In what way is God leading you to reach out to your neighbors?
*Jill is a pseudonym due to her Muslim background.
Written by Pastor Jared Miller (Carthage, Lamar, and Nevada, MO district. (Jared was associate pastor of the St Louis Central church at the time this article was written).