“Love your neighbor as yourself” (cf. Mark 12:31)
One of the most quoted Bible verses of all time.
It is written on the backs of letterman jackets, on the sides of decorative vases, pens, pencils, t-shirts, and even tattooed on thousands of people every year.
But what does it really mean to “love your neighbor” and why is it so important to the DNA of Glocal Mission, and why is it central to missions?
We find it easier to love people we meet on international mission trips or during local outreach. We feed a homeless man a meal when gathered in a group setting, yet why does it become so hard to give a glass of water to the lawn-man working outside?
With much ease, we give gifts to needy children at Christmas time, but why is it so hard to invest in our local school programs?
Simply this: it is uncomfortable to love your neighbor.
Whether you are overseas or doing local missions, the reason why serving is so much easier, is because there is no fear of rejection and no fear of investing into relationships. On a week-long mission trip, we can easily serve and feel good about the work we have done. We can take photos, give each other a pat on the back, and say “well done.” to ourselves.
Don’t misunderstand though: immediate needs must be met, and to do so, we must have short term mission teams.
But in the midst of our serving, are we authentically loving those that we are serving?
“Love your neighbor as yourself,” does not end when you return home and get off of the plane. “Love your neighbor as yourself,” does not end once you return home. Loving your neighbor is a lifestyle that is key to missions and living a missional life.
If we are not loving our neighbor daily, it is much harder to love them authentically on mission.
The kind of love Christ calls us to is much deeper than a week-long mission trip. The kind of love Christ calls us to is long-term.
The kind of love Christ calls us to is a sacrificial, selfless, awkward, uncomfortable, authentic love. It is a love that is not only transformative in our hearts, but it is a love that changes entire people groups.
Although short-missions are needed, they are not the only type of service God has called us to. God’s desire is for us to take it a step further and invest in deep relationships, discipleship, training, and making more disciple-makers and churches.
Glocal Mission is set apart by Christ’s call to engage in long-term love for our neighbors.
At Glocal Mission, we believe it is our joyful duty to make disciples of all nations in our own neighborhoods and abroad. Because we so earnestly know the need for disciple-makers, we make our priority to train every believer to become an evangelist and missionary everyday, everywhere by using wisely their time, talent, treasure.
You can be a part of investing in your neighbors by being trained in outreach, discipleship, and church planting through Glocal Mission Bible Institute, see what missions should really look like by going on mission with us, and play your part through donating to our missions outreach and church planting endeavors.
Make this February the month you authentically love your neighbor.
Get to know those around you. Be joyful with them in times of happiness. Mourn with your neighbor in times of trouble. Lift their burden, take care of their children, give to those in need who are different than you.
But do it because you’re loved by God first and it is what Christ called you to do.
Written by Gabrielle Baggett- Director of Development & Partnerships at Glocal Mission