We are often thinking through how to be more involved in our community for the sake of the gospel, but at times we can over complicate the simple act of being neighborly and showing hospitality. We can quickly get into a rut of returning home from work, barricading ourselves in our homes until we have to leave for work the next day. This is a challenge that I struggle with, and maybe you do as well. The following is a post from Josh Reeves posted at Verge that outlines 25 practical ways that we can build relationships with folks right in our own neighborhoods.
There is nothing mind blowing or earth shattering in this list, but simple ways to be intentional with the rhythms of life you are already living out. As Josh points out, every one of these ideas will not fit your context, but you may find some that work perfectly. Use these ideas as a way to begin brainstorming simple ways to be missional.
I have found that it is often helpful to have practical ideas to start engaging the people around me. Most of the things on this list are normal, everyday things that many people are already doing. The hope is that we would do these things with Gospel intentionality. This means we do them:
In the normal rhythms of life pursuing to meet and engage new people.
Prayerfully watching and listening to the Holy Spirit to discern where God is working.
Looking to boldly, humbly, and contextually proclaim the Gospel in word and deed.
Below is a list of my top 25. Not all of these are for everyone, but hopefully there will be several ideas on the list that God uses to help you engage your neighbors. Would love to hear stories of how you have lived some of these out or other ways you have engaged your neighbors.
1. Stay outside in the front yard longer while watering the yard
2. Walk your dog regularly around the same time in your neighborhood
3. Sit on the front porch and letting kids play in the front yard
4. Pass out baked goods (fresh bread, cookies, brownies, etc.)
5. Invite neighbors over for dinner
6. Attend and participate in HOA functions
7. Attend the parties invited to by neighbors
8. Do a food drive or coat drive in winter and get neighbors involved
9. Have a game night (yard games outside, or board games inside)
10. Art swap night – bring out what you’re tired of and trade with neighbors
11. Grow a garden and give out extra produce to neighbors
12. Have an Easter egg hunt on your block and invite neighbors use their front yards
13. Start a weekly open meal night in your home
14. Do a summer BBQ every Friday night and invite others to contribute
15. Create a block/ street email and phone contact list for safety
16. Host a sports game watching party
17. Host a coffee and dessert night
18. Organize and host a ladies artistic creation night
19. Organize a tasting tour on your street (everyone sets up food and table on front porch)
20. Host a movie night and discussion afterwards
21. Start a walking/running group in the neighborhood
22. Start hosting a play date weekly for other stay at home parents
23. Organize a carpool for your neighborhood to help save gas
24. Volunteer to coach a local little league sports team
25. Have a front yard ice cream party in the summer
Do you have some other ideas or ways that you or your Missional Community have engaged your neighborhood? Let us know below in the Comments section!
Missional Tip: Pick one of these ideas and act on it this week.