What will the United States be like 10 years from now?
In the last 50 years our country has welcomed technological change: color television, cable TV, car phones, beepers, cell phones, and the internet—connecting us with each other. Though these new things have improved our lives technologically, they have also isolated more and more of us: neighbors from each other. This way of living has become to be seen as “normal,” the “new normal.”
Do we know our neighbors? What they do? Where they come from? Who are they really?
In the past, neighbors knew the children up and down the street, hosting them for storybook hour, babysitting, and generally kept an eye out for them.
Neighbors welcomed each other—for late night Christmas Eve cheer, just before Santa arrived; they hosted barbecues and birthday parties.
Neighbors cared about each other. When a family member died, neighbors knew. They brought dishes of food for the family.
As a child in the 1960s, I remember an elderly neighbor who couldn’t drive. My grandmother took her to the store once a week. And when my grandmother fell ill, to cancer—her neighbors prayed for her.
Neighbors are a resource, for more than a stick of butter, a cup of flour, or a borrowed shop-vac; they are help in a time of need.
Steve Carswell is a light of hope to many Treasure Coast neighborhoods. He has lived in Jensen Beach, Florida for more than 20 years. His wife Kyla is a native-born Floridian. She grew up on the Treasure Coast.
Steve can be found walking the neighborhood streets of South Florida, greeting people, and meeting their needs through prayer. He belongs to a national Christian organization known as E3. Their goal is to make positive change in every community they walk through by positively affecting individuals who themselves can change their own communities.
Steve has seen cancer patients healed, gang members turn to Christ, alcoholics quit drinking, homosexuals freed from bondage and their families also come to believe in the power of God.
Carswell’s E3 team consists of 5 families, working full-time as missionaries in Florida. The men often walk neighborhoods with their families, teaching their own children how to help others by sharing the Gospel and the love of Jesus. E3 teams are disciples of Jesus, making disciples. Authentic believers, they follow where God leads.
One afternoon, Steve and another E3 team leader walked a local Stuart neighborhood. An older man was sitting out on his porch. He called out and asked what they were doing, walking the street though it was drizzling. This neighbor was recently diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. Steve offered to pray for the man.
Two weeks later, Steve received a phone call. The older man had returned to the doctor, to find that his cancer was gone. Steve is a humble man; he takes no credit, but gives the glory to God.
Steve Carswell can relate many such positive light-filled stories.
The E3 team believes that what happens in Florida affects the nation. The large state is culturally diverse and there is much movement in and out of state lines. Ideas and concepts that are successful in Florida can be taken to other states—helping to change the nation positively.
The east coast of Florida, from Fort Pierce to Miami is approximately 90% unchurched. (Barna Research) Neighborhoods need to be reached with the knowledge of Jesus on foot—in their own communities, just as believers shared the Gospel in the book of Acts.
With a God-sized vision, the E3 team will be reaching every major city in Florida during 2017. They regularly receive requests for national and international training by Christian churches and organizations who wish to change their communities for the better too. This alone speaks much of Steve Carswell’s E3 team.
Steve Carswell states, “Our mission is to faithfully obey Jesus by making disciples who make disciples, starting churches that start churches to the 4th generation and beyond until there is no place left that hasn't heard the Gospel of Jesus.
Our broken heart is for those far from God, and in Florida we know the population is about 20 million. According to Barna Research, 18 Million are not open to the traditional church; the North American Mission Board states that this is approximately 53% of Florida residents.”
By 2020, just a few years out, E3’s God-sized vision is to be used by God to establish a healthy reproducing church in every Florida zip code (1,473).
Carswell asserts, “Our strategy is: zero budget disciple-making, church planting and missionary mobilization.”
As E3 members impact neighborhood individuals, they teach new believers how to simply share the Gospel. These key people begin home Bible studies, which grow into churches.
Carswell’s team includes a Spanish speaking believer to reach Hispanic neighborhoods. The E3 team also reaches out to the Muslim community with the truth of Jesus.
The United States will not be changed by government, nor by social policies. The only way communities can be made better is through Lord Jesus. The only way to save our country is through Lord Jesus.
What will the United States be like 10 years from now?
It’s up to all believers to do the will of God—living life as the light of the world.
I personally have known Steve Carswell for many years. When my son was a middle-grader, Steve Carswell pastored a local youth group. He helped guide my son out of the negative, dangerous influences coming through the cell phone. Steve Carswell is an authentic Christian. I have chosen to partner with Steve Carswell’s E3 team, because I believe and I know that they are changing my community and my country for the better.
If you would like to partner with or contact Steve Carswell about E3, please email him at: firstname.lastname@example.org
© 2017 "Hometown Heroes" Kelly Jadon