Neighbourhood Engagement is the active movement of a church community towards its neighbours, as a witness, sign and foretaste of God’s Kingdom.
This has two main integrated purposes, offering hope and compassion:
In response to the Great Commission (Matt 28:16-20) the church’s primary mission is to “make disciples”. This means developing pathways for all people, whether they are a non-believer or a follower of Jesus, to encounter the Risen Lord. This is about sharing the HOPE that we have.
The people of God are called to be a faithful and generous presence in their local neighbourhood, seeking the shalom (peace and well-being) of that specific place (see Jer 29:7). Out of COMPASSION we seek justice for the marginalised and oppressed.
Rather than treating these two purposes as separate, the Gospel offers us a holistic perspective. It speaks of a God who became flesh and “moved into the neighbourhood”. It speaks of a Messiah who fed thousands of hungry people, healed individuals physically, restored people’s dignity, delivered them from evil and taught them the way to the Kingdom of Heaven.
As we go deeper into our neighbourhoods across Victoria and Tasmania, may we truly embody this same hope and compassion.