Sometimes as Christ followers, we can find that we can get somewhat introverted. We don’t mean to, maybe we just get busy. It may be also due to the fact that we can get very comfortable with our own lives within our own little bubbles.
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 can find that we are just spending time with other Christians. If we do spend time with other people, we think we have to try to “convert” those that don’t have a relationship with Christ.
While it’s our responsibility as Christians to tell everyone about Christ, but what do you suppose would happen if Christ followers instead went out into their neighborhoods and loved people, invited 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 come up, but I can 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 walking their dogs, mowing their yards, sitting on their porches, and just enjoying the outdoors. This can be the summer that we get to know our neighbors better, and let them see Christ’s love though us.
Here are 10 different ways that we can reach out to our neighbors this summer:
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.”
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.
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.
Take them some homemade snacks from you and your family.
People will see you care when you take a tray of cookies or snacks over to their doorstep. It shows you genuinely care about them, and took the time to bake something for them. Do you remember when your Grandma would show up with cookies she baked? It’s that same feeling.
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.
If you are part of a small group, have your group do an ourtdoor activity and invite them.
Small groups have the awesome opportunity to reach people in the community. Have a picnic or cook out with your small group, and invite others to come as well.
Get everyone together to play of softball.
Invite the neighbors over to a nearby softball diamond. Split up into teams and play a friendly game of softball. Everyone will have a blast. If people don’t feel comfortable playing, they can sit and cheer. It will bring everyone together and the winning team will have bragging rights for the summer.
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 the popcorn.
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 barbeques. In some places of the country, even big NASCAR race days count as holidays.
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 you’d like because 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 so make some new friends and enjoy the weather!