A Neighborly Connection

Jul 7, 2014 by



Summer is a great time to get to know your neighbors. Stop and think. How many of the families on your block do you know? If you are in an apartment, your floor or wing? If in a condo, your unit? You get the idea. Break it down to a 10-12 families that live around you. Do you know them? Have you tried?

We just had the 4th of July last week and every year we shoot off fireworks on our street with our neighbors. Fortunately, we live on a street that is like a cul-de-sac — no one else needs to drive on our street. So we set up ladders in the middle of the street and set off our fireworks together. (For you mid-westerners, we are not allowed air-born fireworks in California. Ladders are our way of getting our “fountains” a little higher and more festive.) It’s a very impromptu gathering at sundown, but we all love coming together every year. It’s another way for us to connect.

So why is it so important to connect with your neighbors?

Relationships: God placed us in community to build relationships and work together. We are not meant to be alone. We need each other — for friendship, for companionship, and for a cup of sugar. Just a few years ago when we were in a brand new community, we all were out on our lawns all the time. Why? Because we wanted to connect and create something we could belong to. Everyone needs to belong so why not get to know those people you live near? Our neighborhood has enjoyed progressive dinners, Karaoke night, and picnics in the park. We have been invited to birthday parties, weddings, and kids’ ball games. Investing in each others’ lives enriches your own.

Security: Everyone has heard stories of the nosy single lady living across the street watching our her window to see every move you make. While that may creep some people out, I love it. I have nothing to hide, and I know if there is any trouble, she will be the first to call 911.

picnicIt’s great to have other sets of eyes keeping watch. Our neighbor across the street has come over at 11:00 at night to let us know our garage door was open. Others have watched our house for us when we were out of town just to be sure nothing looks out of the ordinary. I love knowing my neighbors have my back.

Witness: Most importantly, we have a little group of people living life right around us and many of them don’t know Jesus. Through interactions with them, we can demonstrate Christ’s love through friendship and acts of kindness and develop a trust where we can possibly share Christ with them. I’ve heard of many Bible studies popping up just with neighbors getting together and opening the Word.

So here’s the deal. Labor Day is the next holiday coming up. What a great time to have a neighborhood picnic. Start now by getting some of them together at your house to plan it. Have coffee and cookies and make an evening of handing out the responsibilities. The planning itself will start to create a bond between the neighbors. It’s not hard, and it is great fun for everyone – including the nosy single lady across the street who just needs someone to care for.

How do you connect with your neighbors?

~Jim and Jerolyn


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