Pictured above, from left to right, are Rorke Warne of Springdale Baptist Church, Gene Miller of Agape Community Fellowship and Jeff Schooley of First Presbyterian with a with a sign promoting the local LoveYouSee initiative. The participating churches will hold joint services on Sunday at the Marysville High School.
Editor’s note: The following release is supplied by the Marysville Area Ministerial Association.
What would happen in our communities if we actually did what Jesus commanded and loved our neighbors?
The Marysville Area Ministerial Association (MAMA) decided to find out.
“Our desire, as area churches, is to see the Kingdom of God invade Marysville and Union County,” says MAMA President Gene Miller, senior pastor of Agapé Community Fellowship. “This means seeing a bit of heaven on earth.”
The first thing the group came up with was the name, LoveYouSee, a play on love being something “you see” and a love for Union County – “UC.”
When Jesus was asked what was most important in life, he said to love God with everything we have and to love our neighbors as ourselves.
It’s referred to as the Greatest Commandment. Most have turned this simple idea of loving our neighbors into a nice saying, something believed in theory, but not always put into practice.
The group wondered “What would happen if every follower of Jesus took the Great Commandment literally?” Is it possible that the solution to our society’s biggest issues has been right under our noses for the past 2,000 years?
For too long, churches have been focused on growing themselves and not as focused on growing the Kingdom. About 18 churches came together and started the LoveYouSee initiative, based on the book The Art of Neighboring by Dave Runyon and Jay Pathak.
“This is a great start, but we still have a lot of work to do in seeing all the churches in our area working together,” Miller said. “We hope this will continue to grow as the movement gains traction.”
For the past several months there has been dedicated prayer time in the churches participating involving a six-week sermon series, along with small groups that focused on “The Art of Neighboring” and loving our neighbors.
Miller explained how LoveYouSee works:
“We’ll hold community corporate events like the free Family Fun Zone on July 4 at the fairgrounds during the Rock’N’Ribs Fest, as well as a Community Serve Day in late September where we will serve our community through projects—being the hands and feet of Jesus. But, those events are not the main focus. It is on a personal level, that we hope people will engage with their neighbors and that this becomes a way of life—building close, tight-knit neighborhoods and communities that are transformed by the love of Jesus.”
This Sunday, the churches involved are holding the LoveYouSee Community Worship Celebration at the Marysville High School with services at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. Author Jay Pathak of The Art of Neighboring will be the guest speaker.
The public is invited to attend the services to learn more about the LoveYouSee initiative and how to make a difference in the community by following the Great Commandment literally.
“The true realization of this movement is that every believer would live by loving those around them. This is accomplished through personal relationships and doing things like inviting our neighbors over for a BBQ, throwing block parties and other activities that will cultivate great relationships. We would love to hear about what is going on in your neighborhoods, and hopefully connect more people together through the website LoveYouSee.org” Miller said.
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