Last time, I wrote about a brilliant secret tactic that helps to move neighbors from acquaintances to friends – throwing parties. But, parties can’t be the only tool in your toolbox. As I’ve written about a lot in the past, we’re already over-committed as a culture. And depending on the type of party you have, they can take up good amounts of time. So, I wouldn’t suggest you burden yourself with these too often. Maybe once every couple months?
Find common interests and activities
But that leaves us needing more opportunities for interaction in the in-between times to be able to take our acquaintances to friendships and our friendships to the deeper places. Here’s a great idea to help with this…
Do what you do, and invite your neighbors too.
What I mean is, you already do activities that you need to or love to do. All you need to do is invite your neighbors to do it with you.
A few examples
I love to play basketball for my workout. A neighbor loves to play as well. When we’re going to play, we simply ask one another to join.
We put a garden around our house every spring. Another neighbor also likes to garden. So instead of working alone on our own gardens, we visit and help with each others.
My wife and I love to play games for relaxation. We recently learned that an older neighbor couple plays games every night after dinner with each other; and they love when others play with them (but it almost never happens). So, we plan on having game nights with them every week or two.
Lastly, if you live in the United States, it’s pretty likely that both you and your neighbors eat three meals a day. You’re already going to eat, why not do it together?
Consistency will pay off
So, in my last 3 posts, I’ve given you 3 simple (but not easy!) tactics:
- Hang out where you’re visible
- Throw parties
- Do what you do, and invite your neighbors too
If you put these into practice and don’t give up, what will begin to happen is you will start to feel like you are sharing your life with those around you. Then after that, you will start to feel like part of a community. Then, you’ll realize that an environment is forming in which it’s practical to live out the Kingdom principles with those around you. You’re starting to get a taste (but just an appetizer) of the community life that institutional churches promise, but can’t deliver.
I have found that every time I get past my fears and invite others, I am blessed in ways I never imagined. Even if the invitation is declined, it still breaks the ice and you never know what it means to others just to be invited.