From time to time The Message is just brilliant in the way it has paraphrased some of the texts in the Bible. John 1:14 (MSG) says:
“The Word became flesh and blood and moved into the neighborhood.”
Anyone who is involved in tentmaking will from time to time be asked what tentmaking is all about. The simple answer is this: It is all about God moving into the neighborhood. By sending Christian professionals to work in other countries and places, God’s kingdom is established in new neighborhoods all over the world.
A few years ago Barna research surveyed why people come to Christ. According to their statistics most people become believers because they have a close relationship to someone who knows Jesus.
Workplaces and neighborhoods are wonderful places for making contacts with new people. These relationships are creating highways along which the Gospel can travel.
Unfortunately other surveys show that many believers often spend most of their time hanging out with other people who are already followers of Jesus. In this way great opportunities for sharing the Gospel are lost.
One married couple once decided to make changes in their lives in order to build friendships with more people who didn’t know Christ. They promised each other that they would make sure that 50 per cent of the people who came to their home would be those who had no faith in Jesus. The decision caused huge changes. First they had to stop inviting their Christian friends. And then they had to befriend people who had little or no knowledge about Jesus.
First, we will challenge you to write down the names of friends with whom you have regular contact. As you look at the list, ask yourself if you should befriend more people who do not know Jesus Christ in order to introduce them to him.
Second, we would like you to look at the map below showing where in the world the Gospel is least known. We ask you to prayerfully consider if there are any new places God is asking you to go so that he will be able to move through you into some new neighborhoods.