If Christians are going to take seriously their call to make disciples, they must recapture the art of hospitality with our neighbors – What better way to demonstrate the Gospel?! The Bible is clear that hospitality is key to creating “life on life” engagements. This goes over and above a weekly meeting or information exchange as “training” for believers. Romans 12: 1-11 shows Paul’s instruction for showing hospitality; Hebrews encourages readers not to neglect the gift of caring for others “Do not neglect showing hospitality to strangers”… 1 Peter 4:8-11 says to show hospitality to one another … as each has received a gift, use it to serve one another. Have you considered your community, your home, your neighbors a blessing; each contributes to the context of your gospel life - to be shared as demonstration of God’s love?
It is often helpful to have practical ideas to start engaging the people around us. Most of the things on this list are normal, everyday things that many people are already doing. The hope is that people would do these things with Gospel intentionality.
This means you do them:
- In the normal rhythms of life pursuing to meet and engage new people
- Prayerfully watching and listening to the Holy Spirit to discern where God is working.
- Looking to boldly, humbly, and contextually proclaim the Gospel in word and deed.
Below is a top 25 list some have used in showing hospitality. Not all of these are for everyone, but hopefully there will be several ideas on the list that God uses to help you engage your neighbors.
1. Stay outside in the front yard longer while watering the yard
2. Walk your dog regularly around the same time in your neighborhood
3. Sit on the front porch and letting kids play in the front yard
4. Pass out baked goods (fresh bread, cookies, brownies, etc.)
5. Invite neighbors over for dinner
6. Attend and participate in HOA functions
7. Attend the parties invited to by neighbors
8. Do a food drive or coat drive in winter and get neighbors involved
9. Have a game night (yard games outside, or board games inside)
10. Art swap night – bring out what you’re tired of and trade with neighbors
11. Grow a garden and give out extra produce to neighbors
12. Have an Easter egg hunt on your block and invite neighbors use their front yards
13. Start a weekly open meal night in your home
14. Do a summer BBQ every Friday night and invite others to contribute
15. Create a block/street email and phone contact list for safety
16. Host a sports game watching party
17. Host a coffee and dessert night
18. Organize and host a ladies artistic creation night
19. Organize a tasting tour on your street (everyone sets up food and table on front porch)
20. Host a movie night and discussion afterwards
21. Start a walking/running group in the neighborhood
22. Start hosting a play date weekly for other stay at home parents
23. Organize a carpool for your neighborhood to help save gas
24. Volunteer to coach a local little league sports team
25. Have a front yard ice cream party in the summer
Pick one of these ideas and act on it this week.
Sharing stories of how you have lived some of these out or other ways you have engaged your neighbors can additionally expand the possibilities and God’s Kingdom.