It seems as if it ought to be simple enough: “Love your neighbor.” But experience tells me it is not as easy as it might seem. And, if we take seriously the parables of Jesus, we learn it is not as easy as some tend to think. When we read what Jesus holds up as the standard of neighborliness we realize that to love our neighbor is not the same as the absence of hostilities or even just the presence of genuine affections. To love our neighbors we need to be involved in one anothers lives to some degree. Even one insurance company gets that: “Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there…”
But this is easier said than done in our fast pace, busy, world. And Frankly, even State Farm’s claim seems a little dubious to me. When I think about it, they’re only there for me when I pay them to be. Try dropping your policy and see if they seem like such “Good Neighbors” then. I have my doubts.
But who can blame them? Life is busy. And my neighbors are as active as I am. How are we supposed to engage them, even if we commit to carving out the time?
Josh Reeves offer us a few suggestions. Here are Josh’s Top 25:
- Stay outside in the front yard longer while watering the yard
- Walk your dog regularly around the same time in your neighborhood
- Sit on the front porch and letting kids play in the front yard
- Pass out baked goods (fresh bread, cookies, brownies, etc.)
- Invite neighbors over for dinner
- Attend and participate in HOA functions
- Attend the parties invited to by neighbors
- Do a food drive or coat drive in winter and get neighbors involved
- Have a game night (yard games outside, or board games inside)
- Art swap night – bring out what you’re tired of and trade with neighbors
- Grow a garden and give out extra produce to neighbors
- Have an Easter egg hunt on your block and invite neighbors use their front yards
- Start a weekly open meal night in your home
- Do a summer BBQ every Friday night and invite others to contribute
- Create a block/ street email and phone contact list for safety
- Host a sports game watching party
- Host a coffee and dessert night
- Organize and host a ladies artistic creation night
- Organize a tasting tour on your street (everyone sets up food and table on front porch)\
- Host a movie night and discussion afterwards
- Start a walking/running group in the neighborhood
- Start hosting a play date weekly for other stay at home parents
- Organize a carpool for your neighborhood to help save gas
- Volunteer to coach a local little league sports team
- Have a front yard ice cream party in the summer
To read the rest of Josh’s ideas click: 100Ways. Josh has a link at the bottom of his Top 25 list.
H.T. to Jonathan Dodson @ Creation Project.