Love Where You Live :: A Love Greater Than Ethnicity

Posted on

5/15 – at Gateway North, Branson & Online
5/22 – at Gateway South & Central

In our broken world, we are raised with prejudices that result in biases. Our views of others may be the result of our family of origin or where we grew up. The true message of the Bible, however, is all people are made in God’s image and should be treated with the dignity that status affords them. So how might we learn to love each other the way He loves all of us?

Work through the following questions on your own, and get together with your running partner, Life Group or friends and family around the dinner table to talk through what you’re learning!


  1. Have you ever been a victim of stereotyping? How did you respond in the moment? What do you think would have been the best way to respond? Why?
  2. Describe a situation when either you or a family member made a decision based on a stereotype. How did you feel about that decision at the time? How do you feel about it now? Why?
  3. Read John 4:3-9. What were all the prejudices that Jesus ignored when initiating a conversation with this woman? What message was He sending to His disciples and to us?
  4. Read Galatians 3:28. How far do you think the church has progressed in making the true spirit of this verse a reality? What challenges or fears have you faced that prevent you from loving your neighbors that are of a different race or ethnicity?
  5. Would you feel more comfortable going to serve others in Latin America or Africa rather than serving locally in a community where you would be in the minority? Why do you think that it so? What would look like for you that you to live, work or worship in an ethnically diverse community?
  6. Recall a positive or life-giving experience you’ve had with someone of a different ethnicity. What about the experience made it positive? What do you think God wanted you to learn from it?
  7. Read 1 John 3:18. Do you have any neighbors, coworkers or family from a different ethnic background? How can you reach out to love them, serve them and learn from them?


John 4:3-9 — So he (Jesus) left Judea and returned to Galilee. He had to go through Samaria on the way. Eventually he came to the Samaritan village of Sychar…. Jacob’s well was there; and Jesus, tired from the long walk, sat wearily beside the well about noontime. Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Please give me a drink.” He was alone at the time because his disciples had gone into the village to buy some food. The woman was surprised, for Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans. She said to Jesus, “You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?”

Galatians 3:28 — There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

1 John 3:18 — Let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.


The heart of this series is to encourage you to Love Where You Live regardless of politics, ethnicity, religion or offenses. Utilize these ideas to take next steps towards loving your neighbors.

  • Take a walk around your neighborhood praying for opportunities to meet your neighbors at each home.
  • Walk don’t wave — Don’t just wave at your neighbors. Walk over to talk with them. Get to know their names, ask questions and be curious so you begin to know them.
  • Invite people to your home for dinner, coffee or a party. Ask questions, like “what do you do for fun?” and let your neighbors interact. If God or faith come up, ask if they have any spiritual background and if it was a good experience. Be ready in return to share where you’re at with God right now.
  • Invite one or two of your neighbors to Gateway with you.

Other Resources


Did you know you can now track your progress working through the outcomes we include in Next Steps right on Gateway’s website?! Go to Spiritual Growth Path and create an account. You’ll get access to Spiritual Fitness Checks and training with the spiritual outcomes.

Spiritual Outcomes – Relationally Engaged & Humility

  • Learn more about loving where you live by working through the RELATIONALLY ENGAGED outcome.
  • Learn more about loving where you live by working through the HUMILITY outcome.


If you’ve yet to do so, we encourage you to download the Bible App by YouVersion on your smart phone. Create a free YouVersion account. Tap Plans > Discover > Search: Outreach New Testament > Start Plan. Then you can read along each day with us!