Vox Ecclesia

The publishers of the Christian Standard Bible recently sent out an email with a list of practical suggestions for using the summer to connect with neighbors for the advance of God’s kingdom. Here’s a modified version of that list:

  1.  Move to your front yard. Think about where you're more likely to see your neighbors, and then spend your free time there. Read a book or enjoy your dessert on your front step. Move the game of catch from the backyard to the front.

  2.  Take advantage of moving season to welcome newcomers. Lend a helping hand or bring over a meal.

  3.  Participate in Community Events. From taking your children to the park to pursuing your local farmer’s market, there are dozens of opportunities to connect with people in your community.

  4.  Plan a barbecue or picnic. Organize a cookout with your whole block to get conversations started. Or invite just one family over and spend an evening getting to know them.

  5.  Participate in VBS. Whether you participate by serving in an official role or simply inviting your neighbors to VBS, this summer ministry provides a way to connect with parents and their children.

  6.  Plant a garden or join a community garden. Ask the expert gardeners for their tips. Share your extra zucchini with the neighbors.

  7.  Wash your cars and offer to wash your neighbors' cars too. This is a great way to get your kids involved in serving your neighbors.

  8.  Start a book club. You don't even have to be reading a Christian book to start meaningful conversations about life and death or about values and beliefs.

  9.  Invite your neighbor along on adventures. Taking your restless kids to a museum or park? Invite a neighbor to come along.

  10.  Ask a neighbor to pick up your mail or check on your plants while you're on vacation. That simple display of trust can deepen a relationship. When you get home, invite them over for dinner.

  11. Go on a neighborhood walk. Take an evening stroll with your family and determine to stop to talk to anyone who is out.