McKinneys: Cru City Neighboring

Chris & Elizabeth McKinney are now with Cru City Neighboring which allows them to also serve as associate staff at The Crossing. Chris serves with Small Groups & Elizabeth with Women’s Ministry. This guest post explains Neighboring and their work in training, coaching & mentoring people interested in pursuing relationships with their neighbors with gospel intentionality. You’ll want to sign up for their Connections Class:

Neighboring Connections Class: Register

Sundays, starting April 8, 11 a.m.

Love Your Neighbor: What does it mean to love your literal neighbor as yourself? In this four-week class, we will discuss how neighboring fits into the bigger story of God’s redemptive purposes. We hope you leave with a new perspective, and a plan that helps you develop fun and meaningful relationships with your neighbors. (Register above)

Contact: chris.mckinney@thecrossingchurch.com

Support the McKinneys: DONATE HERE

What if as believers, we truly loved our neighbors- not only in a general sense, but in a literal one? What if we were to go from being strangers to acquaintances to actual friends/neighbors where we could rely on one another and live in community right around us? What if we could not only borrow that cup of sugar & have someone get our mail while we’re gone (that too) but more than that- what if we were to feel a part of an actual community with those living right around us? What if instead of feeling isolated in our own homes, we could have mutually beneficial relationships with people despite our differences where help & support was just a yard away? And what if God were to use those relationships to bring the gospel into homes and apartments and residences everywhere- for people who don’t yet know Him- and in deeper, meaningful ways for believers as well? We’ve been seeing these things happen in our own neighborhood and in our own lives and we want to be a part of equipping believers everywhere to love their neighbors. Literally.

Tom’s Story

Who was I one year ago today? Answering that question brings me to my knees. I was angry. I was bitter. I was unhappy. I was arrogant. I yelled a lot- at my wife, my children, even my dog. I had everything (or so It appeared) but I was empty and unsatisfied…and it was everybody else’s fault. I relied solely on myself, convincing myself I knew how best to navigate life. In reality, I felt as though I was behind the wheel of an out of control car heading for a cliff. Eleven months ago I went to church for all the wrong reasons. Little did I know I was exactly where God wanted me. I was broken. But God reached out and touched me and let me know I wasn’t alone. Soon my life became a search for more…what did it mean to be a believer? What did it mean to live as a Christian? I could have listened to hundreds of sermons on the topic but that wouldn’t be enough. I needed community. I needed someone to gently come alongside me and walk with me. God brought me neighbors. God brought Chris and Elizabeth into our lives. Through the various neighborhood events they already led, my wife and I knew them. And when we ran into Elizabeth at church, we were warmly invited into their small group and into their lives. Having another family in our neighborhood to share our journey with has been invaluable. To share with others the struggles and temptations in everyday life is invaluable. To have another family so close that pours so much into us in invaluable. Who am I now? I am a believer in Christ. I am a sinner saved by grace alone. I am a father who no longer yells at his kids. I am a husband working on removing unrealistic expectations in my marriage. I find peace in surrendering control to God. And He is working in my life through my relationships. My family is so blessed to have such an amazing spiritual resource in our neighborhood.

Church Partnerships

We want to have an influence for Christ…and we believe that one of the best ways to do that is through churches. Beginning with our local church, we are working with the Small Groups team & Women’s Ministry team to help bring a neighboring focus to 120+ small groups and beyond. Through writing, teaching and training/coaching, we desire to be a resource to anyone in our city who has a heart to reach out to their neighbors. In our experience, there are very few neighboring specific resources out there for people, so we’re excited to hopefully meet a need that’s both theological and practical.

If you think your church would be interested in bringing us in to teach our curriculum, please reach out to us by sending us an email!

We are also doing something we’re calling Neighbor Coaching. We met Austin & Melanie as students on a Summer Mission and now they are married & recently built a house in Austin, TX. They asked to Skype with us for some Biblical principles & practical advice as they begin to neighbor. Similar conversations have been happening with some other friends in Kansas City and San Clemente. After seeing us post about neighboring on social media, both of them have reached out to us for some coaching. It has been so fun coming along side them, coaching & praying for them.

Our Curriculum

In line with our vision of partnering with churches, we sense that there is a need for Biblically based, well-researched curriculum on neighboring. With the help of Dr. Tasha Chapman from Covenant Seminary, who specializes in adult education & curriculum, we are currently working on a 6-8 week small group curriculum that we could offer churches as a resource. Our hope is that God would use it to inspire and motivate people to develop relationships with their neighbors with gospel intentionality. Below you can see some of the books that are influencing us in the process.

Our Prayer Requests:

  • Our Table Discussions- Pray for some new faces, people would grow spiritually & experience community.
  • Our Spring neighborhood events- Easter Egg Hunt, Earth Day & Block Party. For God to use community (amongst both adults & kids) to bring people out of isolation and into relationship, with God & others.
  • Neighborhood Small Group- There are potentially 8 couples from our Table Discussion that want to further develop community & dig deeper into the Bible. Please pray for Todd & Kelly Scott and this group!
  • Jen Wilkin Women’s Conference- Please pray for the women in our neighborhood that attended, for God to work in their hearts.
  • 4 Week Neighboring Connections Class in April– For God to use it to inspire & motivate people at our church to have God’s heart for their neighbors.
  • Our Curriculum- For our conversations with Dr. Tasha Chapman, that God would lead us to include the right things, that it would be Christ-centered, grace-based and applicable across a broad audience.
  • Church Partnerships- Pray God would continue to open doors to partner with more churches.
  • Speaking at Trinity Community Church & Theological Educational Initiative this Spring.

Sources: The McKinneys’ newletters and Cru City Neighboring materials.

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