Sunday, May 15th is the International Day for the Unreached. While we aren’t all called to travel to far off lands and spread the gospel, we all CAN do something right where we are. We are surrounded by neighbors, store clerks, baristas, etc. that need Jesus. Here are a few tangible things we can do in our community to make a difference and shine the light of Christ to a broken world.
Smile. Say Hello. Be Kind. Please and Thank you go along way – if you are rolling your eyes at how simple this is, stop for a moment and consider how you feel when someone acknowledges you. I’m talking about looking someone in the eyes, recognizing they are there and actually paying attention to them. Chances are it makes you feel pretty good. Check out what one woman did to spread her smile.
Start a Neighborhood Book Club – If you aren’t a reader it doesn’t have to be a book club. Becky Henchman declared war on the Seattle Freeze and set up a book club in her community. It has been a way for meaningful connection and conversation. Check out her story and how she set it up! Becky says this about building community: ‘I find that as I’ve purposefully gotten to know more of my neighbors and build meaningful relationships with them, more conversations about values, world views, faith and the like come up – AND NOT FROM ME. These are topics on every human being’s mind. When we, as Christ followers, can let go of our agendas and truly strive to just LOVE PEOPLE like Jesus did, I think that is when, ironically, our lives become the most attractive to non-believers. As our local greater Seattle neighborhoods become more and more diverse with our current tech boom drawing people from all over the world, we can “go into all the world…” by simply stepping outside our front doors. The “world” is coming to Seattle.’
Food – Everyone loves food. Cookies on May Day. Treats for Christmas. Ice cream for the heat of summer. Start simple and just say hi. Make a plan to reach out to one neighbor every week.
Acts of Service – Offer to help your neighbors out. Not only is this nice and neighborly but it is a great way to involve your kids as well. This could be mowing the lawn, pressure washing, hanging Christmas lights or helping sweep the front driveway. Spread the love!
Brush Up On Conversation Skills – Does meeting a new person make your palms sweaty and your stomach nauseous? Ease those jitters by preparing yourself with some simple conversation starters.
Create a Neighborhood Directory – Take the initiative to gather information from your neighbors so you can help each other out, especially in the case of an emergency. There is also an app called “nextdoor” that can make the directory electronic.
BBQ Block Party – Why not organize a one-night block party with your neighbors. It could be a BBQ or a popsicle party. Beat the heat and come get a popsicle. You can meet in a driveway, bring lawn chairs and chat. Make sure to brush up on the conversation starters above!
Kindness and simple acts of reaching out to those around you will go a long way to spreading the love of Christ is this world. Friends, we are surrounded by people who need the love of Christ. Often we become wrapped up in what is going on in our own lives and we miss the small opportunities. Today, embrace the small moments to make a difference. They won’t be wasted!