Thursday - Act On It - Neighbours to Acquaintances
Time and availability allows us to get acquainted with those near us. You may be discouraged, thinking I’m talking about adding things to your already busy schedule. Sometimes that’s necessary, but usually it’s just about making intentional choices to Love God, Love Neighbour in the midst of daily life.
Think about your downtime – how can downtime connect me with neighbours?
First, be interruptible. I used to have a retired neighbour who was often outside, and always up for a chat. His availability meant I could ask him for a ladder, to get the mail while we were away, etc. My availability to stop and chat meant he could ask me questions about the theology of the church he grew up attending.
You can also make other choices. Stick around on weekends instead of going away. Play in the front yard instead of the back. Putter around your garden, walk the neighbourhood, and read on your porch.
Ask questions, talk about the weather, laugh about something that happened. Ask for referrals – who did your driveway/kitchen/landscaping? Ask about the neighbourhood – how’s X doing? Share something – let someone park in your driveway for a party, or share newspapers.
As you do, get to know their name, and then a bit of their story.
Challenge: Look at your calendar and see how you spend your time over the last two weeks. Reflect on how this compares with your priorities. How can you spend more time with your neighbours, to get acquainted?
In this series on being great neighbours, that ends this week, we’ve looked at 6 shifts:
Stranger -> Neighbour -> Acquaintance -> Partner -> Friend -> Family
We’ve encouraged you to learn neighbours’ names, stories, work together, become friends, and now your challenge is to find people of peace in your life. Start sharing Redeem the Commute with them. Perhaps you could do the Marriage course with your spouse and some other couples. Or you could do the parenting courses with other parents. Then take Christianity 101 together, and then the daily challenges. Make a habit of eating together whenever you can, and talking about things that matter.
This is our vision, to be a network of small groups who are being the church. We don’t want to be a church you go to, but a church on the go. We don’t want you to just go to church, but to be the church every day. We’ll be the church when we are scattered around the GTA at work, and scattered around our various neighbourhoods, but also when we gather for community events. We started this with our outdoor movie night, and next we have a trivia night.
After that, we’ll have a Christmas event. We want it to be welcoming for local residents and families, generous for those in need, and introduces the story of the original Christmas party. We’re about to start planning, so let Ryan know if you would like to help!
In the next series, Becoming Like Family, we’ll look at what it means for you, and perhaps your own immediate family to be part of God’s family, called the church. See you there!
Challenge: Ask your person of peace for help with the party you’re planning. Then invite them to follow challenges, or another course, with you.