Freely you have received, freely give. Love your neighbors.
Next Door Christian was started with multiple secondary goals in mind, the primary goal being simply to engage with the kingdom of God locally and globally. Those secondary goals were to facilitate an online community center for believers, both locally and globally, and to encourage local believers to start house fellowships among neighboring believers. This has motivated us to envision this profound and wonderful notion worth pursuing: A house church in every neighborhood. This is because everyone in every neighborhood needs local access to a house church!
Frankly, we ourselves have not started seeing a new house church in every neighborhood yet. Others have, and we are trying to get behind those efforts along with efforts of our own and help build momentum to further saturate the neighborhoods with God's kingdom.
In order to "set the stage" for that kind of pursuit, we felt that investments into the local community could be made in advance. What better way than to distribute Bibles to local neighbors and ask them if they need prayer? This outreach ministry is neither a church planting effort nor an apostolic harvest, it is a very subtle, respectful, and loving form of pre-evangelism. We do not try to argue that neighbors stop and listen to us. We give a premium quality Bible to the neighbors as a gift in a gift bag, along with a printed and signed letter (download) pleading the resident to read the Bible and to reach out to fellow neighbors. We include a printed bookmark before the book of Matthew that explains to the recipient that the preceding pages, the Old Testament, are a background story of God's creation and His dealings with humanity, and that a messiah was promised who would fix everything, and that the following pages, the New Testament, are the story of Jesus who gave us new life and a new covenant with God. Aside from the letter, this bookmark, and the Bible itself, we refrain from theological arguments or debates (but are prepared to respond to questions).
We do all this for so many reasons. We want no one to be with an excuse; we want be absolutely certain that everyone in the neighborhood has been given a fair opportunity to read the gospel of Jesus and as well to understand the whole backstory of God's dealings with mankind as spelled out in His word. We choose to ensure that the Bibles are of premium quality, so that they do not feel like they are mere fodder for proselytizing but are appreciated for their worth as thinking human beings, and so that they are motivated not to toss the Bibles into the waste bin but feel it fits well on the bookshelf or better yet on the coffee table. And we also distribute these Bibles in hopes that, should we return to have a deeper conversation and perhaps invite the resident to come to a house fellowship or house church, that they would be more receptive. Luke 16:9, "I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings."
We are hoping to be planting seeds and tilling soil for a subsequent harvest, but the gifts are gifts in themselves and these neighbors are now certain to have God's word in their homes.
And we always pray this prayer, that the recipients would be demotivated from tossing out the Bible gifts but would keep them on the bookshelf or better yet on the coffee table, that they would crack open the Bibles from time to time, and that God would be there when they do it, that He would reveal to them that this is truth, and that He would show them things with miraculous, personalized page selection that they need to see in their immediate situation. Ultimately, we pray that they be blessed by this gift, and that they would come to a discovery and knowledge of our Creator and His gift to us through the cross and resurrection.
Many people say that "basically everyone [in USA] has at least five or six Bibles already". This is just not true. This is true among professing Christians, but many individuals and families abstain from religious materials altogether, primarily out of a lack of interest. Today, in USA and in countries around the world, more people than ever are atheist and/or secularist, and many of them don't have a strong awareness as to why they hold this view, or no view. Our desire is to make sure that they have an opportunity to have everything they need to get started on a journey in walking with God, without arguing with them or shoving anything down their throat. The gifts are received willingly in a gift bag. But for those who do refuse—this rarely ever happens—we silently return later to leave the gift hanging on their door knob or at the foot of their doorway, and at that point they can discard it if they so choose.
This ministry costs about $10-15 per premium gift Bible, including the gift bag, bookmark, and any other gift materials we may prepare in the bag (magnifying sheet, etc).
your generosity is appreciated! But we are not asking anyone to send us money! Instead, send us Bibles! We prefer to order from BiblesInBulk.com, specifically Bibles that fit the following criteria:
You can send the Bibles to: Jon Davis, 3127 N 36th St, Phoenix, AZ 85018
Luke 16:9, "I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings."
(If we do receive financial funds instead of Bibles at the above address, we will apply some of those funds to cover the costs of building and maintaining this web site, potentially including food and housing for the developers, primarily Jon Davis. So, send Bibles instead.)
that's AWESOME! And there's no trick to it, no church or denomination sponsoring it, the idea is just buy a bunch of Bibles (biblesinbulk.com), be ready to answer questions, and go!
The distribution of Bibles we know about includes a couple messages including a wake-up call (a letter as a tract) and, separately, a reference to this site, all in a gift bag. The resources were printed or purchased online.
Actually, to be fair, there is a good deal amount of other things that are done in this effort, and they include prayer, fasting, and planning.
If you do want to participate in this, consider reaching out. These are some suggestions:
We are just followers of Jesus who appreciate the Bible as the word of God. That's all. We believe that the term "Christian" needs to be qualified to mean "disciple of Jesus", and we believe that to be a disciple of Jesus we must be sharing our faith. We believe that the Bible, despite all of its sometimes awkward bulk, including extensive ancient laws and such, it ultimately fully contains the full and complete explanation that is the essence of our faith. And so, aside from the Bible and the acquisition of the actual presence of the spirit of God dwelling within us, there is nothing else that must be said or taught. There is only one Teacher, and He is the spirit who raised Jesus Christ (God who came in the flesh) from the dead and who therefore now lives in those who sincerely believe. That said, we certainly believe that teaching the Bible and practicing the commandments to Love God and love our neighbors and sharing in the outpouring of God's presence are all appropriate and indeed crucial activities in participating in the kingdom of God. But the point is that we we come with no strings except that the Bible alone is God's true word and that it explains all that we need to fully live.
And we just want to share that faith with you. If you would like to reach out to us, please do. If you peruse the Bible and realize that just reading the book you are completely satisfied with what you want to do next in your path towards God, then that's wonderful, too. Please do find some fellowship with other believers somewhere. God bless you!