The central message of Christmas is the story of the incarnation, God coming to us by becoming one of us. Jesus came ot open the way for us to be friends with God. For those who follow Jesus, one of the most important ways we can be like Him is to intentionally build relationships with those in our neighborhoods. This past Sunday we shared this with our congregation – the 12 months of Christmas, or at least sharing the Christmas story. These are 12 super practical ideas for getting to know people in your neighborhood and building friendships for the purpose of the Kingdom.
January – Google map your block
Draw a map of your neighborhood, or print one from Google Maps. Label the map with family names. Include as much information as you know about the family (i.e., how many kids, kids names, ages, pets, etc.). Use the map as a way to start getting to know names of people.
February – Host a Super Bowl Party
Use the big game as a chance to get to know some neighbors. Everybody is going to watch it … or at least the commercials.
March – Walks with a purpose
As the weather gets nicer, take advantage of good days by taking a walk in your neighborhood. One way to do this with a purpose is to “prayer walk”, meaning you pray for the people living in each house as you walk down your street. You can also use walks to intentionally get to know other people as you see them in their yard or out in the neighborhood. Take some dog treats, or maybe a trash bag and clean as you go. Stop and talk to anyone you pass.
April – Start a Supper Club
What if you found the adults in two or three other households and invited them to be part of a Supper Club? The idea is that you would share three or four meals together (each home would host once). You could do this by meeting weekly, twice a month, or even once a month. Be the first to host, which means that you prepare the meal and have people to your home.
May – Host a driveway or backyard movie night
Pull a big screen or projector to your driveway (the church has some equipment for these type of events). Show a kid-friendly movie. Invite neighbors to bring lawn chairs. You might even pop some corn, or make sno-cones.
June – Set up a lemonade stand
Go to your neighborhood park or a corner where kids and families might frequent and set up a free lemonade stand. Use it as a way to serve and meet parents and kids in the neighborhood.
July – Host a GenesisKids Club
GenesisKids Clubs are an outreach designed to provide a fun, camp-type experience for kids and allows us to share the Gospel. Consider hosting one of these in a neighborhood park or in your back yard. GenesisKids will provide the materials for the club, train you on how to run it, and even help you get workers to make the club successful.
August – Do a Back-to-School Bible study for parents
As kids go back to school, give the adults in your neighborhood the chance to do some learning. Consider hosting a three or four week Bible study in your home for adults. We can help you find short studies on various topics.
September – Host a drive
Organizations such as the Red Cross or American Cancer Society are always looking for people to host a fund-raising drive in their neighborhood. They will send you letters and labels for people who live around you. Rather than mail these, hand deliver them and use this as a way to meet people who live on your street. Another idea would be to hold a peanut butter drive for Haiti or canned food drive for the Eureka Food Pantry.
October – Halloween in your driveway
Get in your driveway for Halloween. You might consider setting up a fire-pit, making s’mores, or providing hot chocolate. Intentionally set things up so that you can greet and get to know some of the parents while kids get their candy.
November – Take someone out for coffee or a milkshake
As you pray for people, choose someone who needs the Gospel, and invite them out for a cup of coffee, lunch, or a milkshake. Take the time to ask questions about their worldview and beliefs, and at the same time look for an opportunity to share Christ.
December – Deliver cookies or a gift to neighbors
Bake cookies or make a craft that can be a gift for your neighbors. Then deliver them with an invite to Christmas services or with an evangelistic booklet.