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Full of ideas, insights, and inspiration.

What Happens When Christians Love Their Neighbors?

Christians-love-neighbors

On a cool Florida evening, while taking our puppy outside before bed, I greeted our neighbor Andreas walking his pup. Our dogs pulled towards each other like magnets, and we were soon engaged in a late-night chat in our front yard. 

I had just finished watching an episode of “The Chosen” and I wanted to tell him about it, but I chickened out.  It’s after ten, I reasoned; this can’t possibly be a good time for a deep conversation with a neighbor. I’m tired. He’s probably not interested in spiritual things. I assumed. Deep down, I knew I was making excuses.  We finished our talk and I headed to bed.

The next day, I couldn't stop thinking I had missed an opportunity. What did I have to lose? He knows I'm a Christian. So I prayed, confessing my unwillingness to talk about Christ, and asked for boldness and another opportunity to connect with Andreas.

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Why I Wanted To Run Away From Bible Study

Why-I-Wanted-To-Run-Away-From-Bible-Study

I don’t know what was more intimidating, the ice sculpture or the perfectly-dressed ladies. Both of these greeted me as I walked into the church. This particular morning was the introduction to women’s Bible studies. I would pick up the Bible study book, meet others who were also interested, and hear from a speaker. As I walked into the church, I wanted to run the other way.  I had just returned from several years of living internationally with a very simple lifestyle. My grid for evaluating any situation was a little different to say the least. Just the size of the foyer completely overwhelmed me. I came into church by myself. Alone. I quickly realized that everyone else came in with a friend.  I didn’t know where to go, wasn’t sure I wanted to be there, and definitely didn’t want to experience this situation again. My one thought was, “Why does Bible study have to feel so uncomfortable.”

Have you ever had an experience like this? You know, the kind where your heart is racing, you break out into a sweat, and you feel so confused because in trying to do something right, it suddenly feels very isolating. But moments like these can forge new paths in our lives. My question that lingered was, How many other women feel this way? Could we do it differently?

Motivated by that experience, I wanted to try a new approach. Beginning a Bible study in my neighborhood seemed daunting yet intriguing to me. But I knew that someone reaching out to me and asking me to come seemed very kind and soft. The invitation from a voice rather than an announcement felt caring and compassionate. Could this be what the Lord wanted me to do?

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The Joy of "Unanswered" Prayers

The one feature I know I need is a fenced-in backyard,” I told my realtor as we began looking for my new townhome. I thought it would surely increase my home office productivity if I could open the door, let Snickers the dog outside, and keep on working. I prayed and even visualized Snickers running around in that fenced-in backyard as I checked off item after item on my action list.

After an exhaustive real estate search, I settled on a townhome in a lovely, small community that had every feature I needed...except the fenced-in backyard. Little did I know that God had a bigger and better plan. As Snickers and I headed out of the door four times a day, I began meeting and getting to know my neighbors. Brief conversations quickly turned into learning each other’s names. Longer conversations soon turned into sharing laughs and hearing about each other’s lives and families.

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Runaway Dog Brings A Heart Closer To Him

Runaway-Dog-Brings-Heart-Closer-To-Him

It was a balmy June evening as several neighbors and myself gathered in a front lawn for our weekly Neighborhood Bible study. Since COVID 19, we have sought creative ways to gather together in socially distanced ways, creating an atmosphere of safety and comfort for everyone.

As we shared insights from that week’s scripture passage, we could not help notice the brown and white, bounding ball of canine energy dashing about from yard to yard.

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Revision: Invitation to Field Test 6-Week 2GO LENT Study

Revision: Invitation to Field Test 6-Week 2GO LENT Study

If you are like me, it seems like time creeps through the winter months leading up to spring. Then suddenly Good Friday arrives, we go to church on Easter and Monday begins the week again. This monumental event of my faith comes with little awareness or forethought. Somehow I feel I have missed out on a season of anticipation. What if you and I don’t “do Easter” that way this year? What if we spend time purposely preparing our hearts and minds for this incredible celebration? The LENT study is meant to do exactly that.

We would love for you to field test our latest study; you can find it here. We welcome any feedback and ask that it be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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A Valentine's Invitation I Could Not Refuse

A Valentine's Invitations I Could Not Refuse

“Oh man, another one of these things,” she thinks to herself, as she pulls the red envelope out of her mailbox. “How many ways can I say no?” She takes the stack of mail inside and plops it all down on the kitchen table. The little red envelope, with her name written on the front in her neighbor’s neat cursive handwriting, is the only remotely interesting piece of mail she’s received today in a big stack of boring bills and advertisements. She sits down and sighs. “What’s she invited me to this time?” Inside the envelope, a cheerful pink and white card invites her to a Valentine’s Day tea given by the neighborhood Bible study. She smiles. She’s been receiving invitations like this for two solid years, and she’s running out of excuses. Her neighbor is a great gal – their sons are the same age and love playing together. But this Bible study stuff is not for her. Of course, this is just a tea party. It would be fun to meet some of the ladies in the neighborhood. How dangerous could it be?
 
Little did I know it at the time, but that Valentine’s Day tea was extremely dangerous for me. It turned my whole life upside down! And not just mine, but the lives of my husband, my children, and even my 66-year-old father.

 The tea was a starting point – the tiny spark that lit a raging fire within me.

 When I finally said yes, I was pleasantly surprised that the gals at the neighborhood Bible study were regular women, just like me. No one wore long dresses or shouted Scripture at me. During the tea, I heard a five-minute teaching on God’s grace. It was exactly the simple message my tired, hungry heart longed to hear – that there was a God in Heaven who loved me, not for how well I could behave or how many good works I could accomplish, but just for ME.

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Little is Much When God is in It

Little is Much When God is in It

“Watch out! Debbie is a seed-planter!” warned Elaine Bush at a recent NBS2GO luncheon at Calvary Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  Four years ago when she first heard Debbie McGoldrick speak,  Elaine thought the format of these 2GO Bible studies was “an interesting and easy approach that brought new insights,” but she had no plans to begin a study of her own. “But I didn’t think about the seeds she was planting,” Elaine reflected. “They were lying dormant, waiting for the right season for the Holy Spirit to water them.” 


Fast-forward to the summer of 2018. She thought of Debbie while walking in her neighborhood one day, and began praying. Then she ran into her friend Sue and couldn’t wait to tell her about NBS2GO. Maybe they could work together! Sue offered to pray for Elaine, but was too busy. “I should have warned her about the seeds. . .” Elaine said.


A few months later in the fall Elaine started a neighborhood Bible study group using LIGHT, from the 2GO Bible Study Series. Though only averaging six women, the group felt God’s hand on them. Elaine smiled as she remembered one of her mother’s favorite quotes, “Little is much when God is in it.” One of her neighbors proudly showed the Bible she had just bought – her first one! Although her church taught from the Bible all these years, they had not encouraged people to read it. As she immersed herself in the Scriptures, God opened her spirit to His own. Nature took on fresh meaning. She told how the breeze that brushed her face on walks now reminded her of God’s presence, described in the Bible as a rushing wind.

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Our Ambassador in Honduras

Our Ambassador in Honduras

As we pray every day at 10:02am asking God to send out laborers (to coincide with Luke 10:2), we believe Kelin is an answer to that prayer! Once she was aware of the tools NBS2GO offered to help reach neighbors for Christ, she did not delay to reach out and begin a Bible study in her neighborhood in Honduras. God led Kelin to become an ambassador for NBS2GO in Honduras, as she now helps train and equip churches to fulfill the mission of NBS2GO – “Reach the people around you, begin a Bible study group.” 

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God's Promise Through Tragedy

God's Promise Through Tragedy

It was just a normal Tuesday. Then suddenly everyone’s cell phones lit up with the tragic news… another school shooting and again close to home! It was May 7th 2019 and all eyes turned to the news coming from the STEM School in Highland Ranch, CO, which was just three miles and ten minutes from my home.  But this time the news was more poignant, for the high school son of one of our NBS2GO moms went to that school.

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One Simple Way to Talk With a Neighbor About Christ

One Simple Way to Talk With a Neighbor About Christ

Whether sitting on the floor with little ones, walking the neighborhood side by side, or eating a bite of lunch together around my kitchen table, my intention is to listen to the Spirit’s prompting to share Jesus with those women who begin attending our Neighborhood Bible Study. 

I love praying for, reaching out, and getting to know each woman God draws to come.  I do this by personally inviting her to my home for a cup of coffee or a simple lunch.  I express my heart to get to know her and her story.  

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Recent comment in this post
Guest — Missy Novak
Still the best decision I ever made! So thankful for Deb's obedience. Please don't let fear stop you from reaching out. You neve... Read More
Wednesday, 25 September 2019 09:28
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Workshops Held in England

Workshops Held in England

First Steps
Despite the rich Christian historical roots in England, recent statistics and reports reflect the spiritual soil of England as hard and cold. Yet, God is bigger than statistics and prayer is more powerful than reports!

When I stepped off the plane in London to chilly 50-degree weather, I was glad to have packed my scarves and coat! Although the weather was cold, the welcomes were warm every place I went. The best way to sum up my England mission trip is to say that prayer had prepared hearts.

I came to England at the invitation of believers from The Church of the Good Shepherd, who strongly believe that God is at work in England, drawing men and women to pray for revival in their great land.

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Going From a Small Fish Fry to a Block Party

Going From a Small Fish Fry to a Block Party

Six years ago, Chris and Elizabeth McKinney threw a small fish fry in their driveway with 4-5 families around them. Having just moved into the neighborhood, they thought it would be fun to get to know some of their new neighbors. They enjoyed it so much, they planned several other get-togethers and soon met another couple who said they’d love to help create a sense of community in the neighborhood. The following year, they worked together with a lot of neighbors to pull off a larger block party where 75 adults and kids attended. The parties continued to grow from there and they saw a shared desire - even hunger - for community amongst neighbors.

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Guest — Erica Rountree
Love this attitude. “It is important to remember that we don’t engage in the needs, dreams, and pains of our communities so that t... Read More
Wednesday, 05 June 2019 09:22
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What If I Had Said No! A 20-Year Reflection on Our NBS

What If I Had Said No!  A 20-Year Reflection on Our NBS

When our Neighborhood Bible Study celebrated its 20th year last month, I remembered our tenuous beginnings. I shared with our nearly 50 members how I was challenged to begin an NBS in the neighborhood, but really had no desire to step out. One of our members said to me later, “Jan, what if you had said ‘No!’ Think about all we would have missed!”

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The Truth Is, We Need Each Other

Mothers-Day

“A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts.” Washington Irving

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God Took Our Neighborhood Bible Study on a Field Trip of Compassion

God Took Our Neighborhood Bible Study on a Field Trip of Compassion

The sweet young homeless girl came up to us and said, “This is the best Easter I’ve ever had!” We were blessed with these precious words when our Neighborhood Bible Study served 70 children and their parents living in a homeless facility just a few miles from where we live. God took us there on Good Friday, to teach us what we are studying in Paul’s letter to the Colossians, “as His chosen people we are to clothe ourselves with compassion and kindness, and bear with each other.” I didn’t realize it at the time, but as a good teacher sometimes does, God was taking us on a field trip and allowing us to experience His teaching on a practical level, transforming our hearts and lives. And at the same time, He was loving these families in hard places through us. I love it that our Bible Study can impact not only our neighborhood, but our community as well.

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From Walking Wounded to Walking with God

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At NBS2GO our main desire is to see lives changed for eternity. Lean in close and listen to Anna.

My name is Anna. And this is my story.

I became a part of the Brookcliff subdivision community after I married in April of 2003. Within days I was openly welcomed by a walking neighbor, Lilia S., who didn't hesitate to invite me to various Brookcliff activities, but I never seemed to find the time.  It wasn't until May 23, 2017 when I lost my husband to a sudden heart attack that I realized what a truly open, caring, and giving neighborhood community I lived in.

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"How many times can I tell her no?"

invitation-1920x750
“Oh man, another one of these things,” she thinks to herself, as she pulls the red envelope out of her mailbox. “How many ways can I say no?” She takes the stack of mail inside and plops it all down on the kitchen table. The little red envelope, with her name written on the front in her neighbor’s neat cursive handwriting, is the only remotely interesting piece of mail she’s received today in a big stack of boring bills and advertisements. She sits down and sighs. “What’s she invited me to this time?” Inside the envelope, a cheerful pink and white card invites her to a Valentine’s Day tea given by the neighborhood Bible study. She smiles. She’s been receiving invitations like this for two solid years, and she’s running out of excuses. Her neighbor is a great gal – their sons are the same age and love playing together. But this Bible study stuff is not for her. Of course, this is just a tea party. It would be fun to meet some of the ladies in the neighborhood. How dangerous could it be?
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Recent Comments
Guest — Mark Mcgoldrick
Oh my goodness the memory of this story floods my heart and soul and causes me to just rejoice that God would choose to allow the ... Read More
Tuesday, 23 February 2016 08:07
Guest — Charlene
Great story. Gives me courage to keep asking, you just never know when it will happen.....all in God's good time.
Tuesday, 23 February 2016 09:23
Guest — Angela Stephenson
What a beautiful story!
Monday, 05 February 2018 07:15
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What is NBS2GO?

NBS2GO = Neighbor Bible Studies 2GO. This website is the simple packaging of ideas, resources, and inspiration to equip believers to launch and multiply Bible study groups.


What's the big deal about a Bible study group?

Like a one-room schoolhouse, a Bible study group brings together a wide range of seekers and Christ-followers to study, discuss, and encourage one another toward life application of God’s Word. This blending of spiritual maturity levels creates a dynamic, life-transforming community. Friendships are formed, and group members are equipped to minister to others where they do life. Life transformation and multiplication!

NLT Scripture references on nbs2go.com and in publications, unless otherwise noted.

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