Hello, BRN Family! It’s good to be with you today! I am sure you have heard me say this before: Regional statistics indicate that 14 million people in Pennsylvania/South Jersey do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. And EVERY 4 MINUTES, 1 Pennsylvanian or S. Jerseyan DIES without Christ! That fact alone gives urgency to what the Baptist Resource Network–and your church–does everyday.
To the aim of pushing back this lostness, I want to introduce you to a new missional framework for engaging our neighbors in Pennsylvania & South Jersey called #LovePASJ (or Love Pennsylvania/South Jersey).
Over the next few years, we will unveil a three-phase plan to LOVE OUR NEIGHBORS.
The first phase, “KNOW,” will provide resources and encouragement to churches to love their neighbor(s) through prayer-walking, community exegesis and exploration, and adopting neighborhoods for Christ. We envision church members actually knowing the names of their neighbors, praying for them by name, and intentionally seeking ways to have Gospel conversations with them.
The second phase, “SHOW,” will examine what it means to follow Christ through words AND actions; through compassion ministries, outreach and other ways to show love to our neighbors. I look forward to the day when bigotry is erased, violence is decreased, fear is diminished and neighbors actually enjoy each others’ company instead of staying behind closed doors. Can’t you just hear the Christian worship spilling out windows and neighbors sharing conversations across the fence–and across the table?
The third phase seeks to teach participants to “GROW” in all that Jesus commanded with a special focus on intentional discipleship and leadership development. What if our churches assessed the actual needs of neighborhoods, evaluated church members’ skills, and actively matched people to meet those needs? Can you visualize the sharing of food, repairing of homes, and people living generously, rescuing orphans, visiting widows, and overall shaping the beauty and impact of every neighborhood?
Without a doubt, our churches are facing a different world than ever before. It’s the perfect time to love our neighbors. We are looking to God to accomplish this big task! We also wanted to look to you.
In recognition of the monumental opportunity before us, we have decided to allocate all of our annual State Missions Offering proceeds to help churches love their neighbors.
The #LovePASJ offering allows us to help churches have a continued focus on their neighbors all across our region and to resource them for ministry, especially in the areas of collegiate ministry, compassion ministry, evangelism, and disaster and crisis relief. This year’s offering goal is $50,000, which coincides with our 50th anniversary as a network. As you give, consider how much more we can accomplish for Jesus in the next 50 years!
Thank you for supporting this vital offering, which hugely impacts our local missions and ministries across Pennsylvania/South Jersey. In addition to materials churches will receive in their mailboxes, you can learn more at lovepasj.com, where you can access multiple, downloadable resources in various languages. Thank you for listening in and God bless you!