I am presenting the fall lecture for the Global Pentecostalism Center at Southeastern University tonight at 7pm (EST) and there’s a word burning in my spirit. I believe our christian witness is at stake. The world is watching the way the Church has responded to cultural issues over the past two years.
We inhabit time and place in this unique season in our culture. We have an opportunity to engage our community and embrace conversations about race and economics in our communities in a way that will open doors to share the motivation of our love. As our culture grows farther apart, the evidence of the healing message of Jesus will be unity and practical expressions of love toward our neighbors across dividing lines.
We are called, anointed, and empowered by the Holy Spirit to do great work and embody the message of Jesus in our communities. I hope you can join us as we learn to love like Jesus, cross dividing lines, and transform our communities.
FREE RESOURCES FOR CHURCHES & ORGANIZATIONS
Have you ever had a season of life that turned out completely different than you envisioned?
We aren’t promised floodlights on the pathway to God’s purpose for our lives. We are promised a lamplight to guide one or two steps at a time. Psalm 119:105 (NLT) says, “God’s Word is a lamp to guide your feet and a light for your path.”
Our family moved an hour down the road from Charlotte to Winston Salem, NC one year ago. I have spent the past year meeting new friends, colleagues in ministry, and residents of our new hometown. Each step along the way has been illuminated by our time spent with Jesus in his Word. Even when it’s been confusing or painful to leave the familiarity we knew in Charlotte in exchange for the unknown of a new city, God’s call was our anchor. Honestly, the move really didn’t make much sense until our friendship with Dr. Bryan Wolfe (Head of School) and the Winston Salem Christian School family began to grow deeper the past few months.
Have you ever had a season of life that you wanted to fast-forward
or eject from completely when it was confusing? How did you respond?
A NEW HOME FOR OUR MINISTRY
WSCS is the rare private school that is a majority-minority school.
We were drawn to the fact that they do everything they can to provide aid for students from all economic backgrounds to receive a Christ-centered education. I was personally drawn to Dr. Wolfe’s vision for WSCS to be a blessing to the entire neighborhood surrounding the school.
Located on North Patterson Avenue – a main road that leads directly into Downtown Winston Salem – WSCS sits alongside a main road surrounded by a beautiful community that has been overlooked by many in our city. Where many see a lower average family income and older buildings, the team at WSCS sees a community full of neighbors created in the image of God.
My heart was full of joy when Dr. Wolfe offered us space on their campus to become the new home for our organization, The Neighborliness Center. We moved into a simple office on the second floor of the property about a month ago. It’s been a joy to have faculty, staff, administration, and students stop by throughout the day to talk with us and simply be together.
I have had the joy of meeting with countless members of the community, nonprofit organizations, and business leaders across our community. We are starting to understand the strengths of the surrounding neighborhoods and where we might fit to love and serve our neighbors.
A gospel community is forming.
WORSHIP, PRAYER, AND GOSPEL COMMUNITY
A group of friends have been joining us for prayer and worship in the 700-seat auditorium on campus. We know that whatever God has in mind for our community will be discovered through intimate times with Him. I sat back with tears in my eyes as I heard the voices of my friends fill the room. No agenda other than to enjoy the presence of Jesus with people we have grown to love.
Dr. Wolfe and I are prayerfully exploring ways to continue developing Christ-centered community on campus. The spiritual roots of WSCS are 43 years deep in Winston Salem and we are benefiting from seeds planted by many that came before us. Our conversations include finding ways to holistically engage the surrounding neighborhood with practical expressions of love. One step at a time, the Lord continues to open doors for us to shine and share the light of Christ.
We moved to Winston Salem because we felt like God clearly directed us to leave a city we loved, Charlotte, to step into the unknown call to love and serve our neighbors in Winston Salem. I am so grateful for the lamp of God’s word. The future never seemed to make much sense as we were exploring our new city. There were many sleepless nights staring at the ceiling wondering if we had made the right decision. However, each step led us toward a vibrant community on North Patterson Avenue. There’s no way we could have written this story, but God knew all along.
We have some exciting things to share in the upcoming weeks and months about things we have been working on behind the scenes. We have a new office and a new location and a new season of ministry for the Docusen family. We are grateful, excited, and ready to take our next steps toward enjoying gospel community with our new friends.
If you have experienced a season of confusion, disappointment, and uncertainty as you follow the call of the Lord, keep holding on. If we would have traded in the uncertainty of this season for the familiarity of the past, we would have never seen the miraculous doors God has opened. I can’t wait to share these miracles with you soon. Keep holding on to God in the season of uncertainty.
One of the names of God is Immanuel, and it means God is with you. Keep holding on and trusting that the same God that called you into the season of uncertainty is the one who promises to faithfully lead you into his promise.
The Neighborliness Video Group Study is designed for your church small group, leadership team, or group of friends. All you need is a facilitator and a place to meet. Simply hit play and I will lead your group in a one hour discussion from my living room in North Carolina to wherever you’re meeting across the world. We will discuss relevant cultural topics and lead you into deeper relationships across dividing lines.
Neighborliness points straight to Jesus and his love and leads us into relationships with others. Each group includes:
- Conversation starter to get the group warmed up.
- Five-minute teaching on a passage of scripture + twelve minutes of group conversation.
- Two separate five-minute teachings/thoughts from me about specific content from the book + ten minutes for group conversation on each topic.
- Closing thought from me that sets up the next week’s gathering.
Register FREE at www.neighborliness.com.
“I don’t want to make you nervous,” Courtney (producer at GMA3) said to me, “but four million people will be watching this interview.” We both laughed. “Honestly,” I replied, “I’m not super nervous, I’m just ready to share this message that burns so deep in my heart to see our culture unified across dividing lines.” I might be nervous tomorrow. Today, I’m grateful and ready.
It’s still so surreal that this is happening. We adapted the content of the interview on this call because of the mass shooting & tragic loss of life in Buffalo. Courtney asked me if it would be ok if they start the interview asking how we can heal as a nation in light of so much division and violence. I told her that my answer would include pointing directly to Jesus. She said that’s just fine.
I’m grateful for so many who have been praying alongside us. God has opened this door and I’m excited to walk through it. Thanks for praying alongside us. All glory to God for what he’s done and will do with this opportunity.
You can watch the the interview at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3EnXklJNu9E.
Friends & fam –
Quick update from an amazing week … Neighborliness hit number one in three different categories on Amazon this week for new releases and climbed all the way into the top six of all books in two different categories … praise God!
Quick request for your help …
- Post about the book on your social media. Commenting and sharing things about the book helps keep it in people’s feed, as well.
- Write a review on Amazon or GoodReads.com (or wherever you bought your copy).
- Tag me and use all the hashtags you can dream up (this actually helps)
The more traction we get from online interaction, the more my publisher will keep investing into the marketing of the book … so it really helps to have online stuff happening. This is pure hustle mode to see this message go far and wide … and we really appreciate your help.
Lots of love and gratitude!! Here’s a handful of pics to choose from (or you can use your own).
David & Dara