The problems of hunger, homelessness, abuse, and addiction in North America continue to evade easy solutions. This is the case because the average person of modest means does not really know how to meaningfully engage with those in need.
Many ministry organizations have a handle on a particular aspect of social service. We believe, however, it is Citygate Network’s role—because of more than 100 years of involvement with those most broken—to talk about the issues and then challenge the church at large. The goal is to foster and feed an unprecedented movement of compassion toward poor and powerless people as knowledgeable, enthusiastic ambassadors of Jesus.
Toward this end, the Invisible Neighbors book and video clips provide awareness and education. They are designed for distribution to churches and small groups (e.g., home study groups, youth groups). We believe those who use Invisible Neighbors will have a life-changing experience that can influence the church and all of society. Secondarily, rescue missions across North America will garner more long-term assistance and support from their local communities as they continue in their role to provide vital services, evangelize and train those in need.
The goal is to equip followers of Jesus to meaningfully engage in ministry. The time has never been better to strengthen and expand the church’s interest in reaching out to desperate and destitute people in our midst. At this moment, followers of Jesus need to be made aware of the needs and fully equipped to meet them.
SESSION 1: Who is my neighbor?
“Hey, we’re neighbors!” | An unusual encounter with a homeless man that changes everything
A culture of “cocoons” and “clans” | The impact the loss of social capital now has on our everyday lives
The Samaritan saga | A fresh, in-depth look at one of Jesus’ often-repeated parables
SESSION 2: Nations of neighbors in need
Concerning statistics | Facts and figures regarding our most heart-wrenching social issues
“This is my story” | Getting acquainted with two very typical invisible neighbors
The next ten years | What the days ahead might hold if things continue as they are
SESSION 3: The question of responsibility
The government’s burden? | The very complicated role of government in caring for the poor
The church’s responsibility? | Why the church of Jesus Christ is not as involved as it should be
Under the Overpass | Two transients tell of their experiences with Christians on the streets
SESSION 4: Love your neighbor as yourself
A biblical perspective on the poor | What scripture says about the poor and the obligation of believers
Jesus and the Year of Jubilee | How the Son of God brings back to life a forgotten Jewish custom
SESSION 5: Embracing radical hospitality
The New Testament model | What biblical hospitality really means and how one patriarch lived it
Community, then houses | The right priority for addressing homelessness from a faith perspective
Christ, then programs | Why the Gospel needs to come before enrollment in social programs
SESSION 6: Missions to the rescue
A perfect place to start | What rescue missions have stood for and what they continue to do
Your invitation for involvement | Ways you can serve a rescue mission and what it will do for you
Don’t forget the words | A final word on communicating the life changing truth of Jesus