Cultural Engagement Tip: Get to know your neighbors!
Remember the last time you moved? You unpacked, reoriented and got to know your neighbors. Or did you? We live in an increasingly individual and separated society with cell phones, ear buds and text messages safely cushioning us from interpersonal interaction. It is easy to live our lives without ever really engaging those right next to us, even on the most superficial of levels.
While discussing Dallas Theological Seminary’s Cultural Engagement initiative, Dr. Mark Yarbrough noted how important it is to know who our neighbors really are.
The Table Podcast: “DTS's New Initiative on Cultural Engagement” (Part 3)
“When we talk about our neighbors, and who it is we engage with, and who it is that we talk to at our places of employment, when we are in ministry and we are working in a culture that is real and there are real people that we are engaged with, I think we need to make sure that we know who people are and how they think, what their lives are about.”
Here, creating opportunities for dialogue and listening in that dialogue becomes very important. Dr. Yarbrough shares both a theological and a practical reason to value someone else’s life story:
“We need to take time to listen… these are also people that are created in the image of God.
We have very significant disagreements, understandings of, first and foremost, who Jesus is, what the Word of God is. But for us to be able to have that type of discussion with people…we need to know who other people are and how they think.”
So go meet your neighbor! Listen to their story and watch what God will do through you.
Watch the full episode here.