Does God Need Us?

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God is already here. 

In the gospel classic of the same name, the St. James Adult Choir proclaim,

God is already here
Can’t you feel his presence?
He’s already here
All you have to do is open up your heart
But God is already here

While this song was no doubt written to draw the congregation’s attention to God’s presence in the midst of their worship, many churches fall prey to the danger of forgetting that God is not only present when they gather within their four walls to worship—rather, God is just as present in their neighborhood, outside those four walls.

And not only that, but God was already present and at work in the community long before that church ever came into existence.

God is already here.

Last week, Tim highlighted the importance of tools that can help a church better answer the question, “Who is my neighbor?” Within that toolbox, one of the most powerful exercises is a neighborhood inventory—an intentional process aimed at unearthing the hopes and dreams of the church’s neighbors, the needs and opportunities present within the neighborhood. It’s a tool that invites the church to see the abundance already present within the community; to teach their eyes to see the ways God is already present, already working.

To see that God’s Spirit doesn’t need us.

No—God invites us to partner in the work God has already been doing, and partner with our neighbors for our mutual flourishing. Because we need each other.

Whenever a church begins a new phase of re-engaging their neighborhood with this posture—one of abundance, not scarcity; of partnering, not “saving”—good things follow, and we begin to live into the promise tied to God’s command in Jeremiah 29:7:

“Seek the good of the city… and pray to the Lord on its behalf,
for in its welfare you will find your welfare.”

Because God is already here.

Together we flourish,