Dos & Don'ts of Living Like Jesus In Your Neighborhood
Loving people where you live might sound simple, but we know it can actually be very challenging. We want to build relationships, not damage them, as we seek to reflect Jesus to our neighbors. Here are a few pointers on what to do—and what not to do—as you love where you are in your neighborhood.
- Ask God to create opportunities for you to talk with your neighbors.
- Prayer walk you neighborhood.
- Pray as a family specifically for others in the neighborhood.
- Ask God to bring specific people to mind for you to focus your time and prayers on.
2) Create Margin (Time)
- Leave space in your life so that you are not too busy to talk with your neighbors and you don’t miss opportunities to spend time with them.
3) Be Among Neighbors
- Be Jesus in your neighborhood. Be kind, be thoughtful, return items you borrow.
- If a neighbor needs help with their yard, don’t wait for an invitation go over and help them.
- Attend neighborhood get-togethers.
- Celebrate when babies are born.
- Console when there is a death or someone is sick.
- Welcome new people.
- Have dinner together, visit the playground with your kids, go on walks.
- Intentionally be available.
5) Work Together
- Bring others into the process of loving your neighbors and the challenges that it brings, so that you are not discouraged and have others to help carry burdens and celebrate victories.
1) Fixing Your Neighbors
- Don’t worry about things like where they park their car or how they take care of their lawn.
- Share the love and truth of Christ, not trying to fix your neighbors’ lifestyle choices such as living together outside of marriage, living a homosexual lifestyle, or being party people.
2) Rushing It or Trying to Do Too Much
- Don’t automatically jump into inviting people to church the first time you meet them or telling them, “You know what you need is a Bible study,” without knowing any personal information about their life.
3) Being Shocked or Offended
- Don’t be surprised when lost people act like lost people.
- Don’t be put off when people use expletives, offer you alcohol, tell dirty jokes, or display off-the-wall behavior.
- “It’s too late to start. I’ve lived here too long now.”
- “They don’t care about me. I don’t care about them.”
- “It’s not my gift to reach out to neighbors.”
- “I don’t want to have any weird or awkward conversations.”
5) Going Alone
- Trying to reach your neighborhood for Christ is a long process and is best experienced in community, not isolation. You will need other members of the body of Christ who are gifted in other areas, who can offer insights, and who will encourage you in the process.