a single hoop in the neighborhood

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A quiet moment behind the church gym early this morning. The neighbors are all sleeping. It’s Sunday. The kids won’t be around for several hours. But they are on my mind. I think about the littlest ones playing on the swings and climbing the play structure, laughing, telling stories, and play-acting using their imaginations as only children can. My mind turns to the older ones, playing hoops, riding bikes, scooters, and skateboards, and trying to stave off boredom.

This is where they frequently congregate, here at the solitary backlot hoop and over at the courtyard near the worship center. They play, talk, and do life together. Usually without parental supervision, but not always. Often the parents or grandparents of the youngest kids will accompany them on their adventures. Especially the Muslim families which tend to be the most intentional concerning their children’s activities and whereabouts.

But in this brief moment I stand here alone. I pray for them that they may come to know Jesus Christ personally. I pray for my church that God will give us wisdom, patience, and favor to be his ambassadors to them and to the broader community in that neighborhood. I pray for a move of God in all of us that we would seek him for his glory so that we might all come into right relationship with him, thereby positively impacting our cross-cultural relationships with each other.

It all starts at a single hoop and playground with the common ground they provide. There are no other such amenities, however humble, close by.

Question: What opportunities for common ground are available in your neighborhood? What are you doing to plant seed in that soil, laying the foundation for deeper community relationships?

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