Meet Your Neighbors

Charles Kiser —  June 23, 2008 — 4 Comments

We’ve wrestled for a while to find ways the Storyline Community could take initial steps into the ministry of justice in Dallas. Thanks to the epiphany of a sharp teammate, we found the perfect starting point.

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, we’ve learned of the importance of cultivating relationships with our poor and downtrodden neighbors—not treating them as charity cases or objects of evangelism but as friends with dignity and respect. These friendships serve in turn as the foundation of our ability to serve our neighbors in a meaningful way.

After all, how can we know the needs of the poor and needy unless we know the poor and needy?

So we’ve decided to get to know our neighbors. In partnership with Chad and Marjorie Matthews of I Love Evelyn (pictured in the top left and bottom right on the left), we’re hosting a meal at a restaurant in the West End of Downtown. Chad and Marjorie will bring their friends (many of whom are currently on the streets); we’ll bring our Storyline friends. And we’ll all share a meal together and simply get to know each other.

The dynamics of sharing a meal will be significantly different than serving our neighbors a meal—not that there’s anything wrong with that. I’m only hoping this meal levels the playing field a bit and helps us to see each other as peers and equals.

Imagine the possibilities of a movement in which people begin to show interest simply in getting to know their poor neighbors.

I’m excited about this event and think it has the potential to keep us moving in the right direction when it comes to justice issues. We’re praying that God will open our eyes to injustice in the midst of conversations with our neighbors.

Charles Kiser


I’m a pastor, missionary, and contextual theologian in Dallas, Texas. I’m committed to equipping and coaching Christians to start fresh expressions of Christian community in Dallas County — communities of hospitality, inclusion, justice, and healing.

4 responses to Meet Your Neighbors


    This is beautiful. Can’t wait to hear about it. Praying,


    Awesome work God is doing in your ever growing community! Can’t wait to hear how God was present, sharing a meal with others at Spaghetti Warehouse! GOOD STUFF!! We’ll be praying for you all!

    Blessings and Love!


    Wow, it has been interesting to keep up with you guys as you venture into Dallas.

    I’ve learned a lot about the steps a ministry must take in terms of homework and actually talking with those in the community that are already doing what you hope to one day do.

    I guess a common misconception is that a ministry just shows up out of the blue to help people (which I guess is sometimes the case), but to be effective as a ministry there is much knowledge that must be gained, many prayers to be prayed, and many friends to be made among those you are seeking to help.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts as you move forward and thanks for seeking His guidance while doing so. What a great example for those seeking to help others in the same way.

    Enjoy the time spent getting to know your neighbors!


    Hey Charles!

    I think this is awesome! I’m actually kind of jealous that we haven’t done anything like that yet. I know that God is going to use you guys in amazing ways, simply because you are willing to go to those “non-church” spaces. And more literally, moving out of our comfort zone and into the realm of those which Jesus spoke: “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but the unrighteous.”

    Press on guys! You guys get me pumped up! God’s already doing some pretty cool stuff through you guys!

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