This can be the summer that you get to know your neighbors, and let them see Christ's love through you.
Sometimes we as Christ followers get somewhat introverted. We don't mean to, maybe we just get busy. Or comfortable.
Whatever excuse we want to use, many times we can be guilty of only spending time with those people who are like us and we enjoy being around. We just spend time with other Christians. If we do spend time with other people, we think we have to try and "convert" those that don't have a relationship with Christ.
While it's our responsibility as Christians to tell everyone about Christ, what do you suppose would happen if Christ followers instead went out into their neighborhoods and loved people, inviting them over for an afternoon of fun, with no Bible reading or even a presentation of the Gospel? (The opportunity for telling someone about Jesus will usually always come up, but I promise you it's never immediately after you say, "Hello, my name is _____ ... "
Summertime is fast approaching, and with the warm weather comes the opportunity to reach out to those in your neighborhood. As the weather warms up, people will be out walking the dog, mowing their yard, sitting on their porch and just enjoying the outdoors. This can be the summer that you get to know your neighbors, and let them see Christ's love through you. Here are 10 ways that you can reach out to your neighbors this summer:
10 Ways To Reach Out Your Neighbors This Summer:
1. See if they need any help with yard work.
People could always use help in their yard. Nothing says love like mowing someone's yard "just because."
2. Host a block party and invite all your neighbors.
You'd be surprised how many people would come over and hang out in your yard if you invited them. Fire up the grill, get some cold drinks, and people will gather.
3. Invite the neighbors over for dinner.
Trust me ... this sounds awkward, but it's not. In our society today, people want to belong. They will be flattered to receive a sincere invitation to have dinner.
4. Take them some homemade snacks from you and your family.
People will see you care when you take a tray of cookies of snacks over to their doorstep. It shows you genuinely care about them, and took time to bake something for them. (Remember when Grandma would show up with cookies she baked? Yeah, it's that feeling.)
5. See if they want to attend any outdoor activities your church might be having.
While some people might not be comfortable attending an actual service at your church, inviting them to an outdoor event is less threatening. Whether it's a summer festival, or simply an outdoor concert, invite them to tag along. If your church doesn't have outdoor events in the summer time, talk to your pastor. Your church is seriously missing out.
6. If you are part of a small group, have your group do an outdoor activity and invite them.
Small groups have the awesome opportunity to reach people in the community. Have a picnic or cookout with your small group, and invite others to come as well.
7. Get everyone together to play a game of football.
Invite the neighbors to come over, split up into teams, and play a game of football. The guys will love it, and the women can either cheer for a team, or sit around and talk. The team that wins gets bragging rights for the summer!
8. Host an outdoor movie night.
With today's technology, it's fairly easy to show a movie outdoors. Whether it's a large TV and extension cord, or a projector on the side of the house with a white sheet, you can show a movie for the entire neighborhood. Don't forget to supply popcorn!
9. Gather neighbors for barbecues on special weekends and holidays.
Let your backyard become the hangout spot on special weekends and holidays. Labor Day and the 4th of July are two great days to have barbecues. In some places (like in Indiana where I live) even big NASCAR race days count as holidays! This leads me to the last one ...
10. Invite neighbors over to watch races, baseball games or other sporting events on TV.
Break out some nachos, spinach dip and cold drinks, and watch the excitement of competition with the neighbors. You'll get some quality time with people as often as you'd like; there are always sports on TV.
Make this the best summer ever by getting out and meeting new people this year! Your neighbors are your mission field, make some new friends and enjoy the weather!
What other things can you do in the summertime for your neighbors?