Engaging with our neighbors can be fun, but it can also seem like a daunting task. Imagine what a difference you could make in your neighborhood if you simply engaged in relationship, shared your story, and invited others to a relationship with Christ and other believers. (Matthew 5:13-16)
If you have never engaged with your neighbors before, or if you are looking for new ways to serve your neighbors, we invite you to take a look at some practical ways you can initiate conversations and develop deep relationships with your neighbor. If this list seems overwhelming, we encourage you to pick one and ask that you simply start and start simply.
Host and Invite
Often times it begins with a simple invitation. Sometimes as believers we can be prone to overcomplicate really easy opportunities to invite and love others, when all it takes is walking the dog or hosting a neighborhood Super Bowl Watch Party. (Titus 1:8, 1 Peter 4:8-9)
Holidays and Big Events – Utilize upcoming holidays or big events to invite neighbors to come join you. If this seems overwhelming, think about co-hosting with another family on your block or someone in your community group. Inviting your neighbor is simple and can open up future opportunities to grow a meaningful relationship with them.
- Easter Egg Hunt
- Christmas Brunch
- Thanksgiving Meal
- Halloween Party
- Game Watching Parties
Just Plain Fun – Consider setting a table out in your front yard for donuts in the morning or a late afternoon snack for neighbors who are taking walks or on their way to or from work. Simply start by creating space in your neighborhood to have conversations and build relationships.
- Friday Morning Coffee
- Lemonade Stand
- Cookouts or Dinners
- Block Parties
- Cooking Classes
- Running Club
Faith-Specific – Whether it’s taking a walk around the neighborhood or hosting a backyard Bible study, take initiative when it comes to talking about your faith to those in your neighborhood. Invite them to join you in a Bible study or be available to have open conversations and answer questions.
- Prayer Groups
- Prayer Walks
- Neighborhood Bible Study
Serve and Share
We can sometimes find it easier to serve within the walls of Watermark or with outside organizations and miss the opportunities that are right next door to us because they aren’t so obvious. Ask for the Lord to give you simple and small opportunities to show the love of Christ to your neighbor. (Romans 12:1, 1 Peter 1:12, Mark 10:45)
Relational – It can be as simple as asking if you can watch your neighbors’ kids or tutor any of the students on your block in your area of giftedness; By offering your time to your neighbors, it will let them know that you are available and that you care for them and their children in the day-to-day things.
Projects – Have you ever seen a neighbors’ trash knocked over or weeds growing in their lawn? Consider taking a moment to serve your neighbor by picking up their trash or finding small practical ways to care for them. Sometimes we do not need to show a big gesture of service, but caring for someone in a small way can go a long way.
- Helping Neighbors Move
- Taking Out Neighbors’ Trash
- Help in Disaster Relief
“The Extra Mile” – Sometimes “the extra mile” just means you are finding fun ways to let your neighbors know that you want to be a part of their lives. Giving books out that you know will spark conversation or taking leftovers to your neighbor that you know has had a long week, are just small ways you can show the love of Christ to them.
- Giving Books
- Baking Treats
- Helping when Neighbors are Sick
- Take Leftovers to Neighbors
- “Welcome to the Neighborhood” Team
Whether you are gifted at landscaping or have the space to host your neighbor, we know that there not just one “best” way to engage your neighbor. Whatever season you are in, we do know that as followers of Christ we are called to love our neighbor (Mark 12:31.) The Lord has uniquely placed us in the spot we are in our neighborhood for a purpose. Whether your next step is serving coffee, babysitting, or hosting a neighbor – we hope that you are inspired, encouraged, and equipped to go and serve your neighbor.
If you have any questions or want to share some of the awesome ways you were able to serve your neighbor, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.