Missionary Mark Burd from TimeToRevive spoke to a few local leaders in our community last Monday.
Mark asked a couple of interesting questions about the Christians in Wilmington:
Are the Christians in our community intentionally blessing others every day?
Are Christians speaking blessings upon the city?
The blessings of Christians enrich our city. Contemplate the “if/then” type statement of Proverbs 11:11, “Through the blessing of the righteous a city is built up, but what the wicked says tears it down.”
If the righteous bless a city it will prosper. If the wicked speak for the city it will be torn down. This reward/warning statement should motivate us to action.
Christians possess the greatest news ever: Jesus Christ died to save people and three days later God raised him from the dead. The resurrection of Jesus Christ changes everything!
Maybe we Christians need to consider Mark Burd’s questions for ourselves: Are we intentionally blessing others every day? Are we speaking blessings upon our city and community?
Every Christian can build up our city by giving five specific blessings to our community. Using the acrostic from Dave Ferguson’s How to B.L.E.S.S. Your Neighbors tells us how.
First, Begin with prayer. Ask God to show you how you bless those within your sphere of influence. A lot of times we don’t know what to do but if we open ourselves up to God leading us in prayer He will reveal to us where and how we can bless others.
Second, make sure to Listen to the needs of the community.
Severe brokenness exists in our community. Our obvious brokenness screams at us. Drugs and poverty take our attention and draws our compassion.
But the hidden and more obvious sins of our community break God’s heart. Immorality threatens our city with destruction and God’s judgment more so than crime rates and homelessness.
Jesus Christ provides true healing from brokenness and Jesus is the only one that fixes immorality problems. Identifying the brokenness comes from listening and identifying it. Listening to others demonstrates your love.
People remember how you make them feel more than anything else.
Third, Eat with people. Eating with others allows you greater opportunities to listen but eating also builds relationships of trust and caring.
The firefighter study by Kevin Kniffin fascinates me. The study shows a direct correlation between enhanced job performance and cooperation with firefighters who eat together over those servants who do not eat together. Eating with someone else gives them a blessing and enables you to extend your blessing further.
Serve is the fourth way to give a blessing. The three previous blessings (prayer, listening, and eating) reveal the needs and brokenness of our community.
Those three blessings also reveal the resources God provided you to use in service to others. Tangible, practical service gets people talking about the blessings Christians provide.
Finally, share the Story of how Jesus Christ has changed your life. The greatest blessing we give to others is how Jesus can heal their brokenness, fix their sin problem and restore their relationship with God and others. But they have to hear about Jesus to believe. And they can only hear if you tell them.
Now all you have to do to put these into practice is just practice one part of B.L.E.S.S. a day.
Write me and share your story, so I can tell others how God enriched our city as you blessed others — firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dale McCamish is Senior Minister at Wilmington Church of Christ.