Loving my neighbors, and loving them well, does not come easily to me! It is way outside my comfort zone. And though none of these ways to be intentional in my neighborhood come naturally to me, I’ve found that over time it does get easier.
So if you’re in the same boat (or rather, the same comfort zone), be encouraged that you’re not alone!
But don’t stay in your comfortable nest!
Seek to grow! Allow the Lord to change you! Rely on His strength to propel you forward, and pray for His grace to cover you!
Remember – our willingness to step out and love our neighbors isn’t to make us feel better or make us looks good to others.
We seek to be intentional in our neighborhoods in order to be the conduit of grace God can use to just show up in our neighbors’ lives! All that we do points to Him!
So with that, I give you ten more ways to be intentional in your neighborhood!
Host a game night
People love games!
We once hosted an apple-themed party complete with everyone bringing an apple dish or drink, and we played Apples to Apples together. I think we did it three years in a row before we moved away. It was a lot of fun, and people looked forward to it every year!
You can do cards, board games, or whatever else you enjoy! For the summer, yard games are fun too!
Do a prayer walk
We love taking prayer walks in the evenings.
First, it’s a great way to be present in your neighborhood because you’re out and visible! Second, you’re praying for your neighborhood as you walk.
Pray for the families you know and don’t know. You can pray out loud or silently to yourself. Either way works! If your children are with you, I suggest praying out loud so that they can be a part of the process.
Look for ways to serve your neighbors
Can you mow your neighbors yard while you have your lawn mower out? Weed their garden for them? Maybe you can get the mail or carry groceries for someone?
As you work to become more observant (see yesterday’s post!), consider ways you can serve your neighbors and help meet practical needs.
Double your dinner and share it
So easy! We’ve done this several times.
I will send a quick text to a stay-at-home mom in my neighborhood earlier in the day and say, “I have a pot of chicken noodle soup on the stove. Would you mind if I brought you some in a couple of hours? I made a double batch.”
Rarely has anyone turned me down!
Organize a community yard sale
Are you having a yard sale? Consider sending an invite out to your neighbors to join you!
This will increase the odds of having a better yard sale turnout for yourself, and you’ll get to your neighbors out of their house! Win-win!
Host a play date
Are there children in your neighborhood? Get them altogether for a simple play date.
Put on a pot of coffee and snag a few treats from the store (or bake them, if you’re good at that … but no pressure!).
Strawberry Chia Muffins and No-Bake Cookies are about the extent of my baking so I feel ya’! But our inability to bake, doesn’t mean we can’t do something else!
Try to have something special for the other moms (or mom) to just say, “I care about you!”
Share a babysitter and go on a double date
Does another family in your neighborhood require babysitters to get a night out? Consider inviting them to share a babysitter and go out together!
Usually babysitters give discounts for add-on children, and you can split the cost between you.
Host a Bible study
An open Bible study can be a great way to engage your neighbors. It doesn’t have to be super fancy, but just open God’s Word and invite others to ask questions or share some of their thoughts about the text.
Welcome new neighbors
Did a new family move in next door? Be the first to welcome them!
Consider lending them a hand with some boxes, or make them a a meal and provide some paper utensils while they unpack.
Be a blessing to your new neighbors!
Leave a gift basket on someone’s doorstep “just because”
You don’t need a reason to give someone a gift. As you continue observing those in your neighborhood, think about small gifts and ways you can bring a smile to someone’s face.
Our neighbors children beg their Mommy to let them make cookies for my children. You should see the shape of those things when they make it to our doorstep, but they are the most delicious cookies because they are made with so much love!
Children are great at thinking of ways to bless others, so involve your children!
Speaking of children! If you’re interested in other ways to teach your toddler or preschooler to serve, I highly recommend Teach Me to Serve eBook. Kristen Summers walks you through 99 ways preschoolers can learn to serve and bless others. Teaching my son to serve others and to develop the heart of hospitality is a passion of mine. This book was helpful in giving me some ideas to guide my son in these early years! You can learn more about the eBook here.
Loving our neighbors doesn’t have to be hard! We just have to be faithful, sensitive to the Spirit and willing to obey when He gives us direction.
So now it’s your turn! I want to hear what ways you plan to be intentional in your neighborhood this summer!
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