featured graphic for Pastor Mike McKay and his wife Kristi of Neighborhood Church

Weekly message from Neighborhood Church: Community engagement brings peace

Jeremiah 29:7 But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.

The word welfare means peace and prosperity. Here in Jeremiah 29:7 it means we should do those actions that create and foster peace in our city, our community, and our neighborhood. One of the most effective ways to bring on peace is to get to the know people you live around: your physical neighbors, the people who work and frequent the stores you regularly shop, people at your local school, people at work, and those you see around town. You could be that blessing and kind soul to brighten someone’s day and help them not go down that negative river that seems to flow in the human heart. It’s learning people’s names, sharing stories together, giving out affirmation, appreciation, and accolades. It’s as simple as a smile. See, when we give attention to someone it shows they matter. God created each of us (see Psalm 139:13-16) and each of us matter. You matter and all humanity matters to God and when we acknowledge someone it makes a difference.

Engaging our community is connecting with others. So is volunteering. Helping at your church, in your community, at your local school, even gathering friends to do a trash pick up is great. Every little action to make our cities and towns better helps bring peace. God does desire to seek the welfare of our community.

Philippians 2:4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Galatians 6:9-10 And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.

Luke 6:30-31 Give to everyone who asks of you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.

Romans 15:1-2 We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.

When we take it upon ourselves to engage among the people in our community, we love our neighbors as Jesus commanded (see Matthew 22:35-40). These actions bring about the peace Jeremiah 29:7 talks about.

If there was ever a time we need to create peace, it is now. Our world is full of hate speech, anger, frustration, angst, and anxiety. People feel overwhelmed, dejected, disheartened, sad, and discouraged. In that state, people act out and the horrors of yet another violent act, another mass shooting, hits our nation. Now there are no simple answers, but one thing we can do is to be more connected, more engaged in our community.

Proverbs 3:27-28 Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it. Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come again, tomorrow I will give it”—when you have it with you.

Colossians 3:12 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.

Church helps us be engaged and engage our community. If you do not already have a church to attend, we would like to invite you to view or visit Neighborhood Church. We are a welcoming church and would love for you to connect with us! Our website has all the information you need for times and locations of all our Sunday gatherings. You can also find us online at neighborhoodchurch.com. As well, if you would like to view any of our past worship gatherings or videos, visit our YouTube channel, or just search Neighborhood Church Cypress or Neighborhood Church Los Alamitos on their YouTube site.

Seeking to engage our community along with you,

Mike McKay