the weblog of Alan Knox

I need help serving my neighbor

Posted by on May 17, 2011 in church life, community, discipleship, missional | 8 comments

I need help serving my neighbor

Last Saturday was a bad day for me. I think I caught some kind of stomach bug. I’ll spare you the details.

But, Saturday evening, I received a phone call that was very encouraging!

A friend of mine called and told me about his neighbor. I knew a little about her already from talking with him before. She had recently experienced a couple of deaths in her immediate family, and she was not handling it well.

This neighbor had welcomed my friend and his family into her life. But, as my friend told me, they thought they needed help. The lady was open to meeting and talking with more people. Did I have any suggestions?

We talked about possibilities for a few minutes, then he said that he would bring it up with the church Sunday. He would ask our brothers and sisters if they had any suggestions on how his family could better serve this neighbor. He would also ask them if they would be willing to spend time with his neighbor.

Unfortunately, my unwelcomed visitor decided to stay with me through Sunday morning, so I did not meet with the church. I know that my friend talked about his neighbor, but I don’t know what was said.

Last night, some other friends invited Margaret (my wife) and me out to dinner. There were six of us all together. Guess what one of the topics of conversation was? Our friend’s neighbor. (And, no, I didn’t bring up the topic.)

I think something special happens when the church (as a whole) gets involved in someone’s life. Some call it “belonging” before “believing.” I call it taking Jesus Christ to people through his community.

What do you think? Have you ever been part of a church or group of believers who served someone together like this? Have you ever been served or helped in this way?


Comments are closed. If you would like to discuss this post, send an email to alan [at] alanknox [dot] net.

  1. 5-17-2011

    For a short period of time there was a group of us from our church that would band together and go do things for people in our congregation. With one Grandma who is raising her twin grandchildren on her own we cleaned up her front and back yards, fixed her fence, and tore down a dangerous back deck and rebuilt a safe one. Another lady in our Body needed some painting done so we banded together and spent a whole day painting, and through that was able to replace one of her neighbor’s front door. We searched and prayed for other opportunities to just love and serve people but so many turned us down because they felt embarrassed or something! But the people we did serve were blessed and so were we! It was a beautiful thing to be a part of and witness. I’m still looking for those opportunities and now I just seek them out on my own and ask others to join in.

  2. 5-17-2011


    Thanks for sharing that story! It sounds like that group is people is not serving together any longer?


  3. 5-17-2011

    Alan, we aren’t. It fell apart when people kept turning us down on our offers. Such a bummer because it really exemplified the Body of Christ in a way our church hasn’t ever seen before. What’s even more of a bummer is our church didn’t truly get or see the value of it so…only one of many reasons why I am in the process of exiting my church and strongly considering and praying about home church. :) Thanks for your posts, they are very helpful and spot on!

  4. 5-17-2011


    Have you thought about getting a group of believers together to serve people who are not part of the church (yet)?


  5. 5-17-2011


    I was going to call you this evening to see how you were and to thank you for your suggestions in serving my neighbor. But since I found this post, I figured I’d just say it here.

    After bringing up this need to the body, a lady friend of ours went with me (that very day) to visit my neighbor. It was not an easy situation to step into (she was allergic to animals and the home we went to had 6 birds, 5 cats, 4 fish, and a dog all inside) but she did so with incredible grace and love. It was amazing the number of things these two ladies had in common and real concern and interest seemed to be given naturally. I’m so grateful for our church’s support and help in loving my neighbor. She is going through an incredibly difficult time and she does not need to go through it alone and especially not without Christ’s hope and love. My church friend has established a relationship with my neighbor and plans to visit regularly.

    This is not a church program but a lady who needs to know Christ and who needs the body of Christ. I’m grateful for friends who are concerned with my concerns.

    Thanks bro!

  6. 5-17-2011


    Thank you again for calling me Sunday night, and thank you for this wonderful update! I can’t wait to talk to you more about. Perhaps I’ll even be able to meet your neighbor soon.


  7. 5-18-2011

    Yep, have thought about it and pursued it. It’s a work in progress! Hey interestingly enough I had something happen yesterday afternoon at my place of employment that kind of fits with this discussion. I blogged about it today because it’s so heavy on my heart – as I believe it should be. You might find it interesting to read about. Here’s the link:

  8. 5-18-2011


    Thanks! I will definitely read your post.