Loving the Neighbor Who Doesn’t Look Like You

Praying for God’s Word to unite our nation

Churches in Charlotte are leaning into Scripture for unity.

In a day and age where race divides, church leaders are recognizing the urgent need for people to better understand each other, respect each other, and thank God for his diversity in creation.

Fostering open dialogue between people from difference races and cultural backgrounds is one way to begin bridging the gap. It’s why Charlotte churches started Bible study groups using a guide called, Loving the Neighbor Who Doesn’t Look Like You. Using this Scripture-filled resource, multi-racial groups are getting together to talk about how God can heal racial divides. They read Scripture, have courageous conversations, pray for one another, and plan practical ways to love their neighbors unconditionally.

Using God’s Word to Mend Relationships

Since the fall of 2018, churches in Charlotte have offered this Bible study to their congregants. And participants had lots to say about the differences it made!

“I enjoyed it so much, being amongst other people that were not like me. And to hear that we were on the same page, because of our belief and faith in God. We came right back to the center, which was Jesus. And that was incredible, no matter what our race was,” one participant said.

“I came into a group of people, different ages, a different race than myself, hopeful, a little guarded, a little unsure about how much we would all get out of this. As soon as we prayed, as soon as we opened the Scriptures, I was so at ease. I was with brothers and sisters in Christ. We shared stories with each other, we cried with each other, we held hands. Healing took place and it was wonderful,” said another participant.

“I think it’s a great opportunity for the church to pick up that mantle and walk with it. I think that being able to use Scripture to show the errors of our ways—and being able to do that with churches—will help this be a better city,” another participant remarked.

We are grateful to God for how he’s working through churches in Charlotte to foster healthier relationships among his people. We pray that this will be the beginning of healing and reconciliation across our nation.

3 Ways to Pray:

  • Churches. Pray for churches to be an example of Christ to others by walking in a spirit of humility and love.
  • Communities. Pray for healing in communities across the country that have experienced traumatic events related to race.
  • Our nation. Pray for God’s redemptive work to remove social barriers and bring unity to our nation. 

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Nena Podbury
Nena Podbury

Nena Podbury is a Prayer Mobilization Associate at American Bible Society. Originally from the Bronx, she served in children’s ministry for 12 years doing Sidewalk Sunday School. Nena is married with two children, Noah and Emilia.

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